TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced on Friday night that blood samples taken from hogs in Abuyog, Leyte have tested positive for African swine fever (ASF).
In a press statement, DA 8 (Eastern Visayas) head Angel Enriquez said the region’s first case was detected in backyard farms in the villages of Can-aporong and Bunga where unusual swine mortality was reported late last year.
Enriquez said Leyte’s provincial veterinary office has launched an investigation and collected samples on January 6.
Four out of seven samples submitted to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory yielded positive results in the antigen detection rapid test.
The positive samples were sent to the Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory of the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Manila for confirmatory testing, with the same result released on January 12.
“It was agreed during our coordination meeting with the local government unit (LGU) to immediately implement control measures, such as depopulation and proper disposal of the affected hogs, inventory of hogs in the identified areas, enforcement of strict border control, and disease surveillance and samplings, including nearby villages,” she said.
Veterinary quarantine checkpoints manned by personnel of the BAI, Leyte’s provincial agriculture and veterinary offices, the Philippine National Police, and the LGU have been set up in the town’s three highway borders, Enriquez added.
Abuyog Mayor Lemuel Gin Traya said as part of their containment measures, no hogs would be allowed entry and exit until February 14.
“They should be strictly confined in their respective barangays (villages) where they are being raised for private or commercial use,” Traya said in a Facebook post.
He added that all hogs “within the 500-meter radius from an infected swine as a point of reference, will be culled.”
Meanwhile, the DA-8 urged the public to immediately report unusual swine mortality and contact the DA-BAI at 0920-854-3119 or the regional ASF coordinator at 0915-184-1883.
Pigs affected by ASF usually manifest high fever, distinct reddish spots on the neck, chest, and extremities, and bleeding of internal organs that could lead to death within two to 10 days.
Although the virus does not cause disease to humans, infected animals are unfit for consumption under the Food Safety Act. (PNA)