Philippines confirms African swine fever, culls 7000 pigs

Elias Hubbard
September 11, 2019

He said the blood samples of the infected hogs that were sent to a laboratory in Britain tested positive for ASF.

Dar said 14 of 20 samples sent to a United Kingdom laboratory tested positive for African swine fever, but it will take another week to confirm how virulent the strain is.

In a follow-up report, Philippines agriculture officials announced Monday that samples from pigs in small backyard farms in Rizal province near Manila tested positive for African Swine fever (ASF).

The local experts say the current spread of swine fever is the largest known animal disease outbreak in the Philippines' history. "We (also) assure the public there is enough supply of pork in the market", he added.

He said the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) is still awaiting results of another test to determine how strong the virus is, adding that it is not clear yet how virulent these viruses are.

"The hog industry is one of the more critical industries in the country".

"We also activated and mobilized respective Quick Response Teams (QRTs) at DA Regional Field Offices to implement complementary measures", Dar said. "Let us not allow it to be affected in a big way", Dar said.

African swine fever is fatal and highly contagious for pigs, with no known cure.

To control the spread of the virus, the Food and Drug Administration has banned all processed pork meat products from countries affected by ASF, such as Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, and Zambia, among others.

The Philippines is the latest country in Asia to be hit by the disease, with hard-hit China and Vietnam culling millions of pigs and scrambling to find a vaccine to contain infections that have ravaged their swine industries.

Duque explained that local meat does not impose a threat to human health, reiterating that as long as meat was prepared and cooked properly, it was safe for human consumption.

In this May 8, 2019, photo, pigs eat feed at a pig farm in Panggezhuang village in northern China's Hebei province.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, ASF is a severe viral disease that affects both domestic and wild pigs and could cause their deaths.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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