Finally. Good news to the hog raising industry. It has been announced that nearly 80 percent of cities and municipalities hit by African swine fever (ASF) have not reported any new case, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
In a forum organized by the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, BAI director Reildrin Morales said the number of ASF cases in the country continues to drop.
Morales said 389 of the 493 cities and towns, which had been affected by the swine disease, have no new case.
At least 305 of the areas reported no new case in the past six months and the rest in the past three months. Morales said ASF incidence in the country continues to decline, with only 98 cases as of April 16.
In March, the BAI reported 286 ASF cases nationwide.
The number of ASF cases started to drop in November when 568 were recorded, which is lower than the 597 cases in October. It further dropped to 360 in December and 358 in January.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) implemented the sentinel approach or limited placement of pigs in test areas as it works toward repopulation. DA-National Livestock Program director Ruth Miclat-Sonaco said sentinel piglets were recently distributed in Batangas, Benguet and Camarines Sur.
Companies have also stood to the challenge of doing their part to solve this problem. ADM, one of the world’s leading human and animal nutrition providers, has recently supported the biosecurity training sessions for Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay ASF) project Volunteers in Northern Mindanao.
The volunteers’ training sessions are part of the interdisciplinary program called BABay ASF, a proactive biosecurity and surveillance effort led by the Philippine College of Swine Practitioners (PCSP), the Department of Agriculture (DA), and its partners from the private and public sectors. This program aims to stop the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) and revive both backyard and commercial swine farmers’ livelihoods.
ADM, through its CSR arm ADM Cares, also provided funding assistance for the program to cover the training sessions for volunteers, farmer seminars, and procurement of more than 700 Nanogold ASF Test Kits and PCR test kits.
Meanwhile, in Abra, an outbreak of ASF was reported in Malibcong, Daguioman and Tineg.
Gov. Maria Jocelyn Valera-Bernos said precautionary measures, including the setting up of quarantine areas, would be implemented to prevent the spread of the swine disease.
In accordance with national government measures, the provincial government ordered the ban on the transport of hogs and by-products as well as culling of pigs within 500 meters of infected areas.
With additional reports, The Philippine Star, Artemio Dumlao
Photo Sources: ADMPhilippines, bomboradyo.com, rappler.com