MANILA -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Sunday urged backyard hog raisers to report sick and dead pigs to their local government's veterinarians.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar made the remark after dead pigs were found floating in a creek in Quezon City.
Dar said town and city veterinarians will then coordinate with the agency's Bureau of Animal Industry to determine the animals' cause of sickness or death.
"It was utterly irresponsible on the part of the backyard raisers as they did not only violate current laws, but their misdoing also spread the disease pathogens much faster," he said.
The agriculture chief said the swine raisers violated the Animal Welfare Act for depriving hogs of "adequate care, maltreating them in the process."
Violators may face imprisonment of 6 months to 2 years or a P1,000 to P5,000 fine.
“The irresponsible dumping of dead pigs simply adds scare to the public, and this should not be tolerated. The perpetrators must be punished in accordance with the law," Dar said.
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier said the sickness has infiltrated the city and that she has ordered the culling of pigs within a kilometer of areas where there are ASF infections.
Dar, however, said he would have preferred that the Quezon City government made the announcement after the confirmation through laboratory results.