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6 provinces report new ASF outbreaks

6 provinces report new ASF outbreaks

MANILA, Philippines — African swine fever (ASF) has continued to spread in the country, with new outbreaks recorded in six provinces.

At the Laging Handa press briefing yesterday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said new cases of the swine disease were reported in Albay, Quirino, Batangas, Quezon, Laguna and Cavite.

“The DA (Department of Agriculture) is there in partnership with local government units to implement elevated quarantine measures,” Dar said.

Dar said the DA has been strictly implementing movement protocols of hogs and pork products, heightened surveillance and culling of infected pigs.

In its latest report to the World Organization for Animal Health, the Philippines said 33,406 additional pigs were culled, bringing the total to 370,393 since August 2019.

The country logged 5,442 ASF cases, according to latest data.

At least 1,119 barangays in 28 provinces in nine regions were affected.

The DA has been giving indemnification of P5,000 per head to those who surrender their hogs for culling. More than P700 million under the DA’s quick response fund was released to indemnify affected hog raisers.

An initial budget of P400 million was alloted to restock and repopulate the swine industry.

Narciso Edillo, DA-Cagayan Valley regional director, said 288 barangays in Cagayan Valley were affected during the second wave of the outbreak, which started before the third quarter of this year.

Edillo said 19,000 pigs were culled in the region.

The swine disease was detected in 23 towns in Isabela, five in Cagayan and four in Quirino.

Nueva Vizcaya and Batanes remain ASF-free.

Edillo said the DA would provide P2 million in financial assistance to affected hog raisers in Cagayan Valley. – Victor Martin