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Swine fever hits hogs in Visayas


THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed the first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Visayas Region.

Following reports of unusual swine mortalities in the backyard farms of Brgy. Can-aporong and Bunga, in Abuyog, Leyte in the later part of December 2020, the provincial veterinary office in Leyte in coordination with the DA-Regional Field Office VIII, conducted disease investigation and sample collection in the two barangays.

The DARFO VIII submitted specimens to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in the province which yielded positive results in four out of seven samples tested using ASF antigen detection rapid test.

ASF positive serum samples were sent to the BAI Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory (BAI-ADDRL) on 11 January 2021 for confirmatory testing using Real-time PCR.

Again, samples tested yielded a positive result for African Swine Fever virus. BAI-ADDRL reported the laboratory results on 12 January 2021.

Immediately, the DA RFO VIII coordinated with the local government unit through the Office of the Mayor. However since the LGU recently imposed a localized lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a coordination meeting was scheduled on January 13. The DA RFO VIII Quick Response Team also convened to finalize the ASF Action Plan of the Region.

It was agreed during the coordination meeting with LGU Abuyog to immediately implement disease control measures such as depopulation and proper disposal of the affected hogs, inventory of hogs in the identified areas, enforce strong border control in the municipality and disease surveillance and sampling to include nearby barangays.

The DA has conducted disease control measures in the ASF affected areas.

Three local veterinary quarantine checkpoints in the boundaries of Abuyog, Leyte are now in place and manned by the Bureau of Animal Industry- Veterinary Quarantine Station Region 8 (BAI-VQS), Philippine National Police (PNP), Provincial Agriculture and Veterinary Office of Leyte and LGU Abuyog.

Veterinary authorities also responded quickly taking all necessary procedures to contain the ASF case in Abuyog, Leyte.

The DA has encouraged the swine stakeholders in the area to report any unusual swine mortalities to its municipal/city, provincial veterinary offices.