THE Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) yesterday declared an outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in several areas in Rizal and Bulacan after the deaths of more than 7,000 hogs from the disease.
The BAI declared the outbreak in Bgy. Pritil in Guiguinto, Bulacan, and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo, Rizal.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, however, clarified that the ASF outbreak in the two provinces is already managed, contained and controlled.
He said the ASF cases in the areas may be considered an outbreak and not an epidemic.
Dar appealed to the media and the public not to ignite fears regarding ASF. He said unverified and unvalidated reports could create an irreversible damage to the country’s P260 billion swine industry that provides and sustains the livelihood of millions of Filipino families.
“Around two-thirds or 65 percent of the industry is contributed by small backyard raisers,” he said.
Dar said that 7,416 pigs in the one-kilometer radius in ASF areas in Rizal and Bulacan have already been depopulated following the DA’s 1-7-10 protocol to manage, contain and control the spread of the disease.
For instance, one ASF-infected slaughterhouse in Bgy. Gitnang Bayan 1, San Mateo, Rizal, has already been closed, cleaned, and disinfected.
Continuous strict surveillance is being conducted in areas near ASF-infected barangays in Rizal and Bulacan.
Dar assured the public that the incident will not affect the supply and prices of pork in the market, saying that the ASF is confined and specific in certain areas only and not in the entire country.
The DA, in partnership with local government units, private sector, Philippine National Police and the military, has enhanced its monitoring and imposed stricter bio-security and quarantine measures to contain the spread of ASF in other areas.