Agri dept 'monitoring' some areas to guard against African swine fever

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 11 2019 10:40 AM | Updated as of Sep 11 2019 10:48 AM

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MANILA -- The Department of Agriculture said Wednesday it was "monitoring" areas where pigs from one of backyard farms with confirmed African swine fever deaths may have spread to.

Pigs from a backyard farm in Guiguinto town north of Manila could have been brought to other areas, Agriculture Secretary William Dar told ANC's Early Edition.

The DA said Monday that tests from the United Kingdom showed that 14 of 20 samples taken from backyard piggeries in Guiguinto and two Rizal province towns tested positive for ASF.

Authorities culled 7,416 pigs within the 1-kilometer radius for the farms following reports of mounting hog deaths in the said areas last month.

"We are mapping out where these pigs have been redistributed or transported again from Guiguinto, Bulacan," Dar said.

"That's where we're monitoring, where there will be abnormal deaths of pigs in these areas," he said. Commercial piggeries are also being monitored, he said.

Dar said Monday pork was safe to eat as long as these had the seal of the National Meat Inspection Commission. He also advised the public against bringing in pork products from countries with ASF.

All culled pigs will be replaced with piglets and farmers will also be given cash aid. An initial P82 million was released by the national government for this effort, he said.

"It's not that significant to impact to the employment numbers they continue to be there, backyard raisers," he said.