MANILA, Philippines - Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Friday, September 20, that pigs in two barangays in their city were tested positive by the Department of Agriculture for the African swine fever virus, the first confirmed infections of the disease in Metro Manila.
Belmonte said the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) have returned the results of 8 pig blood samples, revealing that hogs in backyard piggeries in Barangay Bagong Silangan and Barangay Payatas tested positive for ASF.
Speaking at the Payatas barangay hall, Belmonte said she has ordered the immediate culling of the livestock of hog raisers in the affected barangays. In exchange, Quezon City government will pay P3,000 per head surrendered.
Earlier, the QC veterinary office said it had implemented containment procedures in Barangay Bagong Silangan and nearby areas because of possible ASF infection. It was only Friday that the DA and BAI confirmed the infections.
So far, 8 out of the 45 blood samples submitted by the QC veterinary office tested positive for ASF. The results of the remaining samples have yet to be released.
The Quezon City government has allotted P10 million as financial assistance for those turning in their pigs, said Belmonte.
She also warned that those who will be caught throwing dead pigs into creeks and taking pigs out of infected areas will face legal sanctions.
The Philippine National Police has sealed off infected areas and installed checkpoints to implement Belmonte's order.
The ASF virus is highly contagious and once a swine population is afflicted, the mortality rate is almost certainly 100%. It, however, has no effects on humans. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?) – Rappler.com
Loreben Tuquero is a researcher-writer for Rappler. Before transferring to Rappler's Research team, she covered transportation, Quezon City, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as a reporter. She graduated with a communication degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.