In this file:


·         PHL report to OIE: ASF outbreaks started in July

·         Hog growers ask tight check of meat at entry points

·         DA’s appeal: Don’t throw dead hogs in creeks



PHL report to OIE: ASF outbreaks started in July


By Cai Ordinario, Business Mirror (Philippines)

September 12, 2019


OUTBREAKS of the dreaded African swine fever (ASF) started on July 25, nearly a month before the government formally announced that a “mystery” disease is killing hogs, according to Manila’s notification to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).


The “self-declaration” report of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) under the Department of Agriculture (DA) was submitted to the OIE on September 9. In the report, the BAI said it received the results of the confirmatory tests which confirmed that ASF killed hogs in seven areas on August 30.


Testing of pig blood samples done by the Animal Disease Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory in the Philippines on August 16 revealed that ASF was responsible for the deaths of the animals.


Manila then tapped The Pirbright Institute, an OIE reference laboratory, for confirmatory tests. The institute found that 14 out of the 20 blood samples were positive for ASF.


The Philippine government is currently awaiting the results of the virus isolation and virus sequencing tests to determine the strain of the ASF that struck hogs in Rizal.


In the report prepared by Agriculture Assistant Secretary Enrico Garzon, Manila said the outbreaks happed in backyard farms in the province of Rizal: in Cupang, Antipolo; and in San Jose, San Isidro, Macabud, Geronimo, San Rafael and Mascap in Rodriguez.


Garzon said in his report that 536 hogs died due to the ASF outbreaks. The government was forced to kill and dispose of 7,416 to control the spread of the highly contagious hog disease...





Hog growers ask tight check of meat at entry points


By Che Palicte and Digna Banzon, Philippine News Agency

September 12, 2019


DAVAO CITY -- Davao Region's hog farmers have appealed for a concerted effort to protect the region's livestock industry from the threats of African Swine Fever (ASF).


“We need the help of everybody to protect the industry," said Eduardo So, president of the Southern Mindanao Agri Resources Trading, Inc. during a media forum on Wednesday here.


So, who is also president of the Hog Farmers Association of Davao Region, called on relevant government agencies to make the inspection tighter, especially of meat products coming into the city and to other parts of Mindanao.


"We still do not see the urgency of work on the ground and we want that be done as soon as possible considering the fact that our island is free from the ASF and our meat is safe to eat," he said.


So said the media reports about ASF in recent weeks have led to a noticeable decrease in sales of pork products, prompting the industry to wage an information campaign to dispel the rumors.


He said the information and education campaign seeks to raise public awareness on ASF, as well as to teach backyard growers on the proper way of growing hogs.


While they don't want to "scare the public," he said it was their duty to protect the industry and educate the consumers because "once it (ASF) hits the island, it will be devastating with 70 percent mortality rate."


In one farm alone, So said the loses in terms of sales would be about 400 pigs monthly.


So said the association's current inventory numbers about 200,000 heads covering 17 commercial growers, and does not include the figure from the backyard growers.


Of their total production, 40 percent goes outside of Mindanao, mostly in the Visayas "because live hogs are no longer allowed in Manila, except by cuts. The other 60 percent goes to the different markets on the island."


“We hope everybody would help us advocate our message. Help us save the hog industry in Mindanao by preventing infected meat to come into the island,” he said...





DA’s appeal: Don’t throw dead hogs in creeks


By Cai Ordinario, Business Mirror (Philippines) 

September 13, 2019


THE Department of Agriculture (DA) appealed to backyard raisers on Thursday not to dump dead hogs in creeks and rivers because there is a “grave danger” that diseases that killed the animals could spread.


DA Spokesman Noel Reyes sounded the appeal following reports that dead hogs were found in a creek in Quezon City and in Marikina River. He reminded the public that there are protocols for disposing of dead animals.


Reyes told the BusinessMirror in an interview that the agency has yet to determine if the hogs were killed by diseases, such as the dreaded African swine fever (ASF).


“If this [disposal of dead hogs in creeks and rivers] is true, may we appeal to the backyard owners not to dump them, especially in the river. Please call your local veterinarians and inform them that the hogs died,” he said.


ASF protocol


The disposal of the dead hogs came days after the DA confirmed the outbreak of ASF in hog farms in Bulacan and Rizal.


Under the ASF protocol, hog raisers should contact their city or municipal veterinarian. The local veterinarian will then arrange the visit of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), an attached agency of the DA.


The BAI will then obtain samples from the hogs and send it for testing. Reyes said it usually takes two weeks for the results from the national laboratory to arrive while the international testing, conducted by the United Kingdom-based Pirbright Institute, will take longer.


“There is a grave danger [of the spread of the disease]. Please refrain from throwing dead hogs in creeks or rivers. Even dead ordinary animals can infect others. It’s simply unhygienic,” he said.


Dead hogs in QC ...