Veterinary dept told to track down hogs afflicted with African Swine Flu in QC

Published September 14, 2019, 1:53 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Chito Chavez 

A Quezon City councilor asked the City Veterinary Department to coordinate with concerned government agencies in tracking down piggeries in the locality to determine if any of the pigs are afflicted with the dreaded African Swine Flu (ASF) disease.

Nomerlita Librao, attends to her pigs at her backyward piggery in Sittio Upper Bangkal in Rodriguez, Rizal, August 20 2019. The Department of Agriculture (DA) has revived its Crisis Management Team (CMT) to contain the spread of a suspected animal disease that has been causing the death of backyard-grown pigs. (Mark Balmores)

Second District Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr. stressed the importance of the close monitoring of all piggeries in the city in the wake of the increasing number of dead pigs due to the ASF disease.

He also noted that backyard piggeries in the city should be inspected to avoid the spread of the dreaded disease.

“All bases should be covered in this trying times of the ASF ailment. Even backyard piggeries should not be spared,’’ Ferrer said.

He also asked the public to buy meat products only from reputable vendors or supermarkets as some “rogue groups may sell dead swine, commonly known as ‘botcha’ which is dangerous to consume.”

Citing its dangers, Ferrer insisted that more severe sanctions should be meted against unscrupulous groups selling botcha as this put the lives of the consumers in extreme danger.

Ferrer also cautioned the public against buying processed meat products which may be made out of double dead meat.

“Be cautious if the processed meat you are buying have no labels or are sold at highly discounted prices,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is not discounting the possibility that the dead pigs found floating on the Marikina River, a creek in Quezon City and irrigation canal in Malolos, Bulacan may have been dumped by hog owners who hid their ASF-afflicted pigs.

BAI officer-in-charge (OIC) Director Ronnie Domingo said between 30 to 50 dead hogs were found floating at the Marikina River while six more were seen in a creek in Barangay Bagong Silangan.

Also, 13 piglets were discovered to be mixed with garbage in an irrigation canal in Malolos, Bulacan.

With these discoveries, Domingo asked all hog raisers to confer with the proper authorities if the suspect that their swines are afflicted with ASF.

To Recall the Department of Agriculture (DA) is intensifying the “1-7-10 Protocol” to control ASF from spreading.

Under this procedure, the DA said quarantine checkpoints which monitor the transport of live pigs, pork and pork products are set up in areas within a one-kilometer radius of the affected farms.

The DA explained that within a seven-kilometer radius, authorities limit animal movement.

The DA has also compelled farm owners within the 10-kilometer radius to report any disease to the department.

Domingo said the veterinary offices will be tasked to bury dead pigs stressing these should be disposed as ASF afflicted dead pigs are full of virus and are therefore unsafe for human consumption.

In burying these pigs, Domingo said that disinfectant chemicals should be sprayed on the burial site to kill the virus.