31 of 81 provinces hit with African swine fever
Thirty-one of 81 Philippine provinces have tallied cases of the African swine fever that has pulled down the supply of pork, the Bureau of Animal Industry said Friday.
"‘Pag sinabi po nating 31 provinces, hindi naman po lahat ng bayan o barangay doon ay mayroon. Kalat-kalat po iyon," said Dr. Ronnie Domingo, Bureau of Animal Industry.
(When we say that 31 provinces were hit, it does not mean that all towns or barangays there have ASF cases. Those are spread out.)
African swine fever causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs that almost always ends in death. It cannot be transmitted to humans and other animals.
Bulacan province, north of the capital, has the most cases of the disease. Most of Mindanao meanwhile is ASF-free, said Domingo.
The disease could be spreading through the sale of infected hogs or processed meat products, he said.
Visayas and Mindanao can augment the pork shortage in Metro Manila due to ASF, he said.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar appealed to hog raisers to maintain cleanliness in order to "effectively manage, control and contain" ASF.
"If their pigs get sick and show symptoms of any illness, hog raisers should immediately inform their barangay officials and city or provincial veterinarians," Dar said.
Traders should also refrain from buying sick or dead pigs regardless of the cause of illness, he said, adding that consumers should only purchase meat which is certified clean and safe by the DA's National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), he said.
Pork accounts for 60 percent of meat consumption in the Philippines, where the swine industry is valued at P260 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture.
TeleRadyo, Sept. 25, 2020