African swine fever creeps into more Quezon City barangays

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed that African swine fever (ASF) has affected more barangays in Quezon City.

In an advisory on Wednesday, October 9, DA spokesperson Noel Reyes said the agency validated ASF cases in barangays Tatalon, Commonwealth, and Tandang Sora.

Samples from barangays Bagong Silangan and Payatas earlier tested positive for the disease.

Quezon City officials recently culled pigs in Barangay Pasong Tamo, even though the DA has not confirmed the presence of ASF there. The local government said the pigs exhibited symptoms so officials decided to cull them, even without the DA's confirmation.

The DA also received reports of more possible cases in Bulacan and Pampanga. The agency has yet to confirm the new areas. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)

To date, the number of pigs afflicted with ASF has almost doubled to 12,000 from over 6,600.

"Our commitment to protect the health and safety of [the] pork-consuming public and the P260-billion swine industry – in partnership with the LGUs (local government units), PNP (Philippine National Police), military, and other government agencies, and the private sector – is stronger than ever," said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

Dar said they deployed 100 additional staff to support laboratory inspections, as well as airport and checkpoint inspections.

"[W]e call for continued vigilance and cooperation of the industry and the general public to prevent this disease from further spreading. What's on the line is the future of the swine industry, where 65% is shared by small backyard raisers," Dar said. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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