ASF hits Davao Occidental town

The Department of Agriculture in Davao Region (DA-11) has confirmed that pigs from a backyard raiser in Sarangani, Davao Occidental died from African Swine Fever (ASF).

In an interview on Tuesday (Sept. 21), Dyck John Camillo, officer-in-charge of town’s Municipal Agriculturist Office (MAO), said they got the confirmatory result from the DA on Monday, Sept. 20.

He told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the ASF case – the first in their town – was reported by a hog grower to their office on Aug. 30.

“We were informed that various pigs from a backyard raiser in Barangay Tucal have died. Along with the personnel from the Provincial Veterinary’s Office, we immediately went to the affected area and upon validation, we noted more or less 26 hogs affected,” Camillo said.

He said blood samples from Barangay Tucal or “Ground Zero” and its neighboring barangays were sent to DA-11 and results were released on Monday (Sept. 20).

On Sept. 17, a laboratory test performed by the Philippine Genome Center Mindanao of samples from suspected infected live domestic pigs in Barangay Tucal, Balut Island showed the presence of a viral DNA from the ASF virus.

Camillo said the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian has suggested implementing strict biosecurity measures at the borders of every barangay and a lockdown on all barangays with ASF cases.

“No culling or depopulation was implemented yet. Currently, we are accounting for the affected hog raisers since there is an ongoing validation on the ground,” he clarified.

Upon the receipt of the result from DA-11, Mayor Virginia Cawa issued Executive Order (EO) No. 26 or the temporary banning of the entry, exit, transportation, distribution, and sale of wild/domestic live pigs and their products including pork meat in Sarangani town.

“The stringent implementation of proactive measures and restrictions must be put in place to prevent the widespread of this contagious hemorrhage disease of pigs which may cause a threat to the health of the populace,” Cawa said in the EO.

The EO ordered local officials to be vigilant in the conduct of meat inspection in all establishments that sell meat in all respective barangays of concern, assure proper disposal of condemned carcasses and parts, and deputize Meat Inspection Officers at the Purok [sub-villages] level of each barangays who will report any disease outbreaks in their respective areas.

Concerned officials were also instructed to “establish quarantine checkpoints in all entry and exit points of every barangay municipal-wide and conduct sanitary inspections prioritizing identified affected localities, and ensure said areas are properly decontaminated, and submit a regular report as to the status of operations weekly.” (PNA)

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