Agri chief orders lab tests after rise in pigs' deaths

April Rafales, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2019 02:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 19 2019 02:25 PM

MANILA -- Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Monday he ordered the conduct of laboratory tests to determine whether a recent increase in deaths of pigs in backyard farms was due to African swine fever or other diseases.

Dar declined to give exact figures on the 2-percent spike or identify the areas where it was observed.

“We have to be science-based, technology-based. Hintayin po natin yung resulta. Gagawin po natin ang lahat to respond to the final conclusion of what will be the result of the confirmatory tests," Dar said.

(Let's wait for the result. We will do everything to respond to the final conclusion of what will be the result of the confirmatory tests.)

The test results are due out in 2 weeks to 3 months, he said.

The affected areas have been under quarantine since Sunday and pigs within their 1-kilometer radius were culled, said Dar.

The incident should not trigger an increase in pork prices because the local supply is enough, he said.

In China, more than 1.1 million pigs have been killed since the first cases of African swine fever emerged in August 2018, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
 
Dar's predecessor, former Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Pinol, banned pork imports from 16 countries hit by the virus for which there is no vaccine.