African swine fever

Albay declares 6 towns, 1 city as African Swine Fever outbreak red zones

Rhaydz B. Barcia

File photo of hog livestock.

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Marked as red zones are Ligao City, and the towns of Bacacay, Malinao, Pio Duran, Oas and Polangui, and Daraga

Six municipalities and a city in Albay province are tagged as red zones because of an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) disease among their livestock.

Governor Al Francis Bichara identified those in the red zone as Bacacay, Malinao in first district; Ligao City, Pio Duran, Oas and Polangui in 3rd district, and Daraga in the 2nd district.

The provincial government has ordered the closure of borders of red zone areas, preventing the entry or exit of hog livestock and processed meat.

Aside from red zones, Albay province zoning protocols also marked nearby areas as buffer zones. These are the cities of Legazpi and Tabaco, and the towns of Sto. Domingo, Malilipot, and Tiwi in the first district, Camalig in 2nd district, Guinobatan, Jovellar and Libon in the 3rd district.

Two of the 15 towns of Albay – the Manito and the island of Rapu-Rapu in the 2nd district – remained free of ASF and were categorized as protected zones.

Dr Pancho Mella, head of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), said that 857 hogs in Albay were culled to prevent the spread of ASF.

Last week, the PVO recorded and culled 109 hogs which were found positive for ASF in Malinao town. The villages affected by ASF were Payahan with 58 pigs, Estancia with 36 and Balza with 15. PVO declared Payahan and Estancia the epicenter of the ASF outbreak in Malinao.

To thwart the spread of ASF, Mella told backyard hog raisers within the 500-meter radius of the affected villages to subject their livestock to ASF examination. Hogs which test positive will immediately be culled.

 Bichara ordered the provincial Task Force ASF to strictly enforce checkpoints in the Albay-Camarines Sur borders, specifically in Barangay Matacon, Polangui, and Libon to curb the spread of the disease. – Rappler.com