DAR: Cordillera still ASF-free

BAGUIO. Agriculture Secretary William Dar with Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Agri-Business and Marketing Kristine Evangelista and Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs Ernesto Gonzales inspect organically grown green bell pepper on display during the Regional Organic Agriculture Congress at the Benguet Agri-Pinoy Trading Center in La Trinidad, Benguet last week. (Photo by Redjie Melvic Cawis)

PORK is safe to eat in the Cordillera and hog raisers should not hide any problems concerning pigs.

This was stressed by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar as he addressed the issue on African Swine Fever during the 6th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress cum farmers' forum at the Benguet Agri–Pinoy Trading Center in La Trinidad on Friday, September 20, 2019.

“The ASF is an introduced virus or disease. Kung may sakit, the normal course is go to your veterinarian so that the veterinarian can diagnose. Kapag may sakit na, huwag nating sabihin na ASF kasi marami ding klaseng sakit ang baboy,” Dar said.

The DA official explained the virus came from Africa which started in 1921. ASF virus is a double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family, it is the causative agent of the swine fever.

With the presence of the virus detected in the country, initial findings reveal there are foreigners or even overseas Filipino workers who went to countries that are already affected such as China and Vietnam.

Dar added by the end of August, a total of 7,416 pigs have been depopulated to prevent the disease from spreading.

Depopulation of pigs consists of five stages: collect, kill, burn, bury and disinfect.

In Benguet province, the Provincial Veterinarian Office earlier added quarantine checkpoint inspectors are deployed in seven areas across the province to check the documents and permits of all livestock animals entering the province.

For 24 hours and seven days, inspectors are monitoring and conducting checkpoints along Marcos Highway, Kennon Road, Tadiangan, Sablan, Bokod, Buguias and Mankayan.

The Provincial Government also reiterated the virus is not transferable to humans and the province is doing everything to prevent the entry of virus to protect the local swine industry.


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