AGRICULTURE Sec. William Dar has called on backyard hog raisers not to sell hogs infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) as well as the traders not to buy ASF-infected hogs as they will be facing criminal sanctions.
Dar made the appeal even as he assured that the disease is not transferrable to humans and other animals.
But Dar stressed that said malpractice will fatally affects swine herd as the disease has no known vaccine yet.
Dar also called on for continued vigilance and cooperation of the industry and the general public to prevent this disease from further spreading.
“What’s on the line is the future of the swine industry, where 65 percent is shared by small backyard raisers,” he added.
Dar, meanwhile, commended local government officials and swine industry leaders for their swift and decisive action, and sustained strong cooperation in the continued efforts to manage, control and contain the ASF.
“The quick and firm response of our local chief executives in the provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga and Pangasinan, and Quezon City government, are indeed commendable,” he said.
Dar added that foremost of their efforts were the strict implementation of the “1-7-10” protocol on ASF-affected barangays, and the “24-7” animal quarantine checkpoints to prevent the spread of the disease in other adjoining areas.
“We greatly appreciate the initiatives and ASF measures implemented by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte; Rizal Governor Rebecca ‘Nini’ Ynarez; Rodriguez, Rizal Mayor Dennis L. Fernandez; Antipolo City Mayor Andrea B. Ynares; San Mateo, Rizal Mayor Cristina C. Diaz; Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro; Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda; Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando; Guiguinto, Bulacan Mayor Ambrocio Cruz; and Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III; and Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko’ Moreno Domagoso for apprehending imported canned pork products from ASF-affected countries and promoting sustained consumption of local pork and processed pork products,” Dar said.
“Despite the mounting challenges, they are deftly managing, controlling and containing ASF in their respective localities, in strong partnership with commercial hog industry partners, the PNP and the military,” he added.
Meanwhile, the DA has received ASF incident reports from several barangays in Bulacan and Pampanga, and validated disease incidence in three additional barangays in Quezon City (Tatalon, Commonwealth, and Tandang Sora).
To date, the DA Crisis Management Task Force on Swine has reported that about 12,000 head of swine tested positive of ASF in more than 20 barangays in Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga and Quezon City.
“This represents one-third of the total depopulated pigs in “ground zero” or within the one-kilometer quarantine zones, following the 1-7-10 protocol,” according to task force head Dr. Reildrin Morales.
“Our commitment to protect the health and safety of pork-consuming public and the 260-billion swine industry — in partnership with the LGUs, PNP, military and other government agencies and the private sector — is stronger than ever,” Dar added.
He disclosed that starting last week, 100 additional staff were deployed to support laboratory operations, and airport and checkpoint inspections, as part their elevated response in ASF- affected areas.