ILOILO – The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 6 urged the public not to bring to Western Visayas pork products sourced from areas hit by the African Swine Fever (ASF).
Going specific, Jonic Natividad, chief agriculturist of DA-6, named the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal as ASF-hit.
“Let us protect our region’s swine population,” stressed Natividad, noting that the ASF mortality rate in swine is 100 percent.
He, however, clarified that ASF does not affect human health.
The DA-6 has activated its African Swine Fever Task Force and posted teams in the region’s ports of entry to conduct inspections, said Natividad.
He also urged the public to alert DA-6 and municipal agriculturists should there be cases of swine deaths so this could immediately be checked.
DA-6 alone could not seal Western Visayas from ASF, said Natividad.
Agriculture secretary William Dar on Monday said ASF episodes in several areas in Bulacan and Rizal may be considered an outbreak, but not an epidemic.
“Specifically, ASF was already contained in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan; and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo, Rizal –and not in the entire country,” Dar said in a statement.
Dar earlier warned hog raisers who fail to report about their sick pigs could face jail time and fines.
“They violated RA (Republic Act) 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act, as they deprived their dead pigs of adequate care, maltreating them in the process,” he said.
Under the law, neglecting to provide adequate care to animals is punishable with imprisonment of six months to two years, and a fine of P1,000 to P5,000.
Dar said hog raisers should report sick and dead pigs to their respective municipal or city veterinarians who will then coordinate with the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to determine the cause of sickness or death./PN