Garcia stops culling of hogs despite ASF detected last week
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia stopped the culling of hogs in Carcar City even with the detection of African Swine Fever last week.
"What we are trying to avoid here is not harm to the humans... harm to the hog industry. Farmers are crying while we do this... because that is the policy," she said.
"There are three barangays, the last barangay is Guadalupe and I said immediately stop, stop the culling. We will just prohibit the exit of these (pigs). This time we will also come up with our own policies," she added.
Last week, the Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of African Swine Flu in Cebu.
As she ordered to stop the culling in Carcar, Garcia also expressed belief that the hogs in the city were just affected by common swine fever.
"ASF is African Swine Fever but on the other hand we also have the common swine fever or cholera. Both display almost the same symptoms but the difference is ASF more often than not causes 100 percent mortality, she said.
''Cholera on the other hand is treatable although the pig may never recover but may not die. I had started to suspect that these might be cholera because we are not seeing deaths in massive quantities as what is the manifestation of ASF," she said.
"In the case of Carcar I learned for the first time that the case came from the slaughterhouse and there was no attempt to trace where the pork came from and there was no attempt to confirm whether the positive result in fact was confirmed by further test... I would like to now create this doubt whether Carcar is ASF infected because the protocol was not followed," she added.
On Monday, Garcia also announced that she will issue an executive order to stop movement of pigs to other hog farms to prevent the spread of the virus in the affected areas.
"I will issue an executive order, the transfer of boars from one hog farm to another will first be prohibited because this could be a carrier," she said.
Garcia said the mayors will also warn hog raisers their farms could close if they fail to isolate infected pigs and report to the local government the possible infection.
"That is why the mayor will have to meet the hog raisers that if they do see symptoms to avoid going to other hog farms with the warning that if they do not inform and they do not isolate, they do not follow our instructions the mayor will... immediately put a closure, to close the farm with the help of the Philippine National Police (PNP)," she said. Robina Asido/DMS