All regions in the country were affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) except Metro Manila, according to Bernadette Reyes’ “24 Oras” report on Friday.
Based on the data of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), at least 16 regions have recorded ASF cases, except for Metro Manila because there were no hog raisers in the region.
However, the Department of Agriculture (DA) clarified that the data did not mean ASF affected the whole region.
“Hindi naman lahat ng barangay or municipalities in those region ay affected ng ASF,” DA Assistant Secretary Rex Estoperez said.
(Not all barangays or municipalities in those regions are affected by ASF.)
Among the provinces that were ASF-free were: Batanes, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Quirino, Albay, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Bohol, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon.
“That’s a viral infection kasi so talagang mabilis yung pagkalat," said Estoperez. "We are trying our best to implement the protocol dun sa World Animal Health but it seems yung iba naman di nag re-report eh.”
(That's a viral infection, so it spreads quickly. We are trying our best to implement the protocol of the World Organization of Animal Health, but it seems some are not reporting cases.)
Estoperez said hog raisers should also avoid feeding pigs with rice.
The DA Assistant Secretary also advised those who will travel during the Holy Week and summer to avoid bringing pork on trips.
“Sa picnic, sa excursions nagkakalat tayo ng virus yung infection sa ating mga baboy. Sa damit lang po sa mga sapatos natin pwede kumalat lalong lalo na sa talagang baboy ang bitbit,” he said.
(On picnics, on excursions, we can spread the virus, the infection, to our pigs. Through our clothes and shoes, it can spread, especially if they are carrying pork.)
Culling or deliberately killing sick pigs and those who might get infected was the only solution as there was still no vaccine against ASF.
The Samahang Industry ng Agriculture (SINAG) said that imported meat should also be monitored because it may carry ASF.
“Ang problema yung frozen talagang hindi na nache-check ng checkpoint. Yung mga live pig may testing yan before na lumalabas doon sa mga farm,” SINAG Chairperson Rosendo So said.
(The problem is that frozen pork is not checked, unlike live pigs, which are tested before they are brought out of farms.)
The DA said it was preparing for a possible pork supply shortage this second quarter of the year due to the ASF.
The department would also look into possibility of importing frozen meat. — Richa Noriega/DVM, GMA Integrated News