AGRICULTURE Secretary William Dar has ordered the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to start quarantine and depopulation procedures in two barangays in Quezon City where the African Swine Fever (ASF) is now prevalent.
Dar issued the order to BAI Director, Dr. Ronnie Domingo after ASF was confirmed in Barangays Bagong Silangan and Payatas.
He further ordered the implementation of protocol to manage, contain and control the ASF in two barangays.
Meanwhile, Dar lamented that the recent newspaper report that the Philippines accounts for a huge majority of all ASF deaths globally is grossly misleading, malicious and irresponsible.
Dar said that according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), global deaths due to ASF have reached 2,530,969 since ASF first appeared in Kenya in 1921, as compared to 7,416 ASF cases in the Philippines, as of end of August 2019.
“This is merely 0.0029 percent, or three deaths for every 1,000 pigs. These cases represent a miniscule six deaths for every 10,000 pigs of the country’s total swine population, which stood at 12.7 million, as of July 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority,” Dar said.
He stressed that such misleading stories create panic among pork consumers and the general public, and could destroy the country’s 260-billion swine industry that provides income and livelihood for millions of Filipino families. This is because small backyard raisers comprise two-thirds of the country’s swine industry.
Dar reassured the public that the DA and other partners from other government agencies and the private sector are doing their utmost to effectively manage, control, and contain the threat of ASF – to protect the industry and to ensure the health of consumers.
“We continue to remind that local pork, provided NMIS-certified, is safe to eat,” Dar concluded.