Filtered By: Topstories

Garcia halts culling of pigs in ASF-affected areas in Cebu

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia ordered a stop on the culling of hogs in African Swine Fever (ASF)-affected areas in the province, saying the local government will come up with its “own policies” to curb the spread of the viral disease.

“What we are trying to avoid here is not harm to humans, but harm to the pigs, to the hog industry,” said Garcia in Bernadette Reyes’ report on “24 Oras” on Tuesday.

“The farmers are crying, why will they kill these, these are healthy pigs. There are no symptoms — because that is the policy. These are three barangays so the last, Barangay Guadalupe, I said ‘immediately, stop, stop the culling’. We will just prohibit the exit of this,” she said.

“This time we will also come up with our own policies that are well-studied,” the governor added.

Garcia’s directive was opposite to the instruction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) which ordered the culling of all live hogs and pigs within the 500-meter radius of areas hit by ASF.

Other areas affected by ASF apart from Cebu are CAR and Regions 3, IV-A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, and 13.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said local government units (LGUs) are allowed to stop the culling but warned it may pose risks to animals.

“Pwede kasing kumalat eh, pwedeng mag infect ng other animals, then the animals will also affect other susceptible ones so parami ng parami yung pwedeng tamaan,” BAI Director Paul Limson said. 

(It may spread and infect other animals and then the animals will also affect other susceptible ones so the numbers will add up.)

“The spread can be through meat products, through the movement of live pigs,” Limson added.

Meanwhile, DA Deputy Spokesperson Rex Estoperez said it will coordinate with the Cebu government in addressing its problems with ASF.

“The DA, na sinabi naman ni Senior Usec. Panganiban na ‘let’s harmonize our move towards that’ so that hindi maapektuhan na lumaki pa itong problema natin so that to stabilize also the price and supply ng pork,” said Estoperez.

(Senior Usec. Panganiban earlier said that ‘let’s harmonize our move towards that’ so it will not worsen and we can stabilize the prices and supply of pork products.) —Sundy Locus/ VAL, GMA Integrated News