Private companies aid gov’t vs spread of African swine fever in Davao Occidental

Rappler.com
Private companies aid gov’t vs spread of African swine fever in Davao Occidental
The Mindanao Hog Raisers Association and PILMICO Feeds Corp have sent disinfectants, backpack sprayers, and power sprayers to decontaminate affected areas

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Several private companies have pooled their resources to help the government stop the spread of the deadly African swine fever (ASF) virus, which has affected 8 barangays in Don Marcelino and 6 more in the capital town of Malita.

Mindanao Development Authority chairman Emmanuel Piñol earlier called on the private sector to help as the deadly swine disease threatened not only hog stock in the province but could also possibly devastate other areas of Mindanao.

Piñol said the Mindanao Hog Raisers Association and PILMICO Feeds Corp., an Aboitiz Company, have sent disinfectants, backpack sprayers, and power sprayers to decontaminate the affected areas, where hundreds of pigs have died since last week.

“After initial confusion, national government agencies, local governments, and the private sector jointly jumped into action and implemented a total ban on the transport of hogs and pork from the whole province,” Piñol said.

He said it was important to contain the disease and prevent its spread to other areas “such as we did in Luzon.”

Piñol was agriculture secretary when the first case of ASF was reported in the country but measures taken during his term had resulted in the confinement of the disease in some Luzon provinces.

“The government’s effort to contain the spread of the African Swine Fever is expected to succeed as a total lockdown was declared by the provincial government and the Department of Agriculture (on Sunday, February 2),” he said.

Piñol noted that the neighboring province of Davao del Sur has also taken action by establishing footbath facilities and spraying passing vehicles with disinfectant.

Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista said the disposal of infected hogs was being done en masse with the use of heavy equipment.

Bautista said barangay tanods were also asked to go around their villages and ask residents to turn over their stocks for culling.

“The Don Marcelino ASF outbreak is a puzzling incident to government agencies monitoring the disease in Mindanao. Reports received during the briefing in Don Marcelino yesterday said the first incident happened in a remote mountain village late last year,” Piñol said.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, who also arrived here with some DA national officials, said the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has started an investigation into why the disease managed to sneak into this town.

Dar said Davao Occidental is now under double quarantine and that samples were also being taken from areas where locals had a history of trading their animals.

These included the towns of Sta. Maria and Jose Abad Santos. – Rappler.com

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