DA denies outbreak after reports pigs died in backyard farms
This is what the Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday after reports of abnormal deaths of pigs in some backyard farms in the country surfaced.
In a press conference, Agriculture spokesperson Noel Reyes said Agriculture Secretary William Dar ordered the 1-7-10 protocol which manages, contains and controls the suspected disease that caused the death of pigs.
“This means that within one kilometer- radius of infected farms, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and concerned regional field offices have set up quarantine checkpoints at strategic locations to prevent movement of all live pigs, pork, and pork-related products,” he said.
Reyes said pigs being raised in the one kilometer- radius are being culled while pigs within the seven kilometer-radius are being tested to determine the extent of the infection and their movement; and those at the 10-kilometer radius are required for mandatory disease reporting.
“There is not outbreak because we are limiting (the movement),” he said.
Reyes urged swine raisers to improve bio-security and prohibit swill feeding as it is the suspected source of the still unknown disease.
But Reyes did not disclose how many pigs have died and which areas are affected.
“We were assured by the private sector that no pork meat were released in infected areas so the current supply of meat come from other hygienic areas,” he said.
“We expect to receive the results at the earliest, in two weeks, or at the latest, three months,” he said.
Reyes said they strongly require that movement and trade of live animals, meat and processed products be accompanied with appropriate veterinary health certificate, shipping permit, and meat inspection certificate.
He urged hog raisers to call a veterinarian if they see symptoms, such as loss of appetite, recumbency, vomiting, skin hemorrhage, and dark discoloration in the extremities.
While the department is saying it’s safe to eat pork now, it urged the public to remain vigilant when buying meat and meat-by-products.
“It should be duly inspected by the DA-National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS),” said Reyes.
“Given the situation, we assure the public that there is enough supply of meat in the market,” he said.
He said based on BAI ( Bureau of Animal Industry) experts, the disease is not transmittable to humans but they can be a carrier.
In a radio interview, BAI OIC-director Ronnie Domingo said they have set up quarantine checkpoints in three areas in Rodriguez, Rizal but he did not confirm if it was the African Swine Flu that killed the pigs.
The news spread after the Taiwan's Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) announced all carry-on bags from the Philippines will be examined by X-ray machines at the airport and other ports of entry after reports that African swine fever cases had been detected in Bulacan and Rizal province. Ella Dionisio/DMS