CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The provincial government of Camiguin on Monday, July 4, declared an African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in the island province.
Camiguin Governor Xavier Jesus Romualdo ordered stricter biosecurity measures that include banning the shipment of hogs and the entry of pork products into the island situated north of Northern Mindanao.
Romualdo also ordered the culling of several dozen hogs within a 500-meter radius of piggeries and backyard farms where ASF infections have been detected.
He directed Camiguin’s town mayors to identify all pig farms, backyard or otherwise, and take immediate preemptive measures.
Romualdo said the movement of pigs outside all of Camiguin’s barangays has been prohibited except when these are intended for processing in the province’s slaughterhouse.
But even then, animal slaughter is prohibited except for those that passed strict pre-slaughter inspections.
Romualdo said officials suspected that the ASF spread from neighboring Misamis Oriental province.
The Camiguin Provincial Veterinary Office said the ASF infections were traced to Barangay Pandan in Mambajao, the capital town of the province, after 14 pigs died on June 22.
Government veterinarians took 18 blood samples and sent these to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Romualdo said test results subsequently confirmed ASF infections in eight of the specimens, prompting the provincial government to place the barangay under quarantine. No hog or pork product is allowed to be moved out of Pandan.
A team from the agriculture department in Northern Mindanao was sent to Camiguin to help the capitol in addressing the crisis as more deaths were reported in other barangays of the province.
The DA team has since been helping the provincial government in conducting surveillance and in testing more blood samples.
Carlene Collado, the DA regional director, said the Regional ASF Task Force and the Camiguin provincial government were collaborating to scale up biosecurity measures to stop ASF from further spreading by isolating areas, eliminating the infected animals, and addressing compensation claims. – Rappler.com
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