But Agri Sec. Dar says report needs further confirmation
(UPDATE3) Eleven pigs in Quezon City tested for African swine fever turned up with the virus, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said on Saturday.
Because of the development, Belmonte said she has ordered the culling of pigs within a kilometer of areas where there are ASF infections.
“Bagamat walang epekto sa tao, but still sakit ito. Kailangan nang mag-culling. ’Yan ang SOP (standard operating procedure),” Belmonte told radio DZMM.
The announcement did not sit well, though, with Agriculture Sec. William Dar, who said he needs to vet such statements before they are made public.
“We’re asking our people kung sino ang nagsabi agad at hindi clinear sa akin,” he told ABS-CBN News.
“Preference namin na kami ang mag-announce,” added Dar, whose department waited for confirmatory tests from the United Kingdom before officials confirmed the presence of the ASF in Rizal and Bulacan.
Quezon City veterinarian Dr. Anna Cabel said the tests were conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry using dead and live swine.
The dead pigs were found floating in a creek in Barangay Bagong Silangan, but it was not clear whether the pigs were from the city or not.
The bureau also extracted blood samples from live swine at piggeries in the same barangay. The virus was also found in them.
Belmonte said city officials are monitoring more than 300 piggeries in Bagong Silang and Payatas. She said residents need not be alarmed.
"Nakatutok po tayo ng 24/7 sa issue na ito," she said.
Meanwhile, the Quezon City veterinarian's office is closely monitoring wet markets and slaughterhouses where quarantine checkpoints are set up.
In the past days, dozens of dead pigs were washed ashore in Marikina river.
— With reports from April Rafales and Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News