Gov’t urges hog traders, others to help stop spread of ASF

Published March 4, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government has called for public cooperation in combating the spread of African swine flu (ASF) in the country, saying the problem lies with people and not in the virus itself.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar made a specific appeal to the country’s hog traders to stop transporting and selling infected hogs and pork products.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar (MANILA BULLETIN)
Agriculture Secretary William Dar (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“The problem really lies now in—iyong spread, pagkalat ng disease na ito ay nasa tao na ‘yung problema, hindi doon sa virus mismo (The problem really lies now in, the spread of the disease, in the people, not actually the virus),” he said in a Palace press briefing.

“Of course, the virus is the one that we are trying to manage, control, and contain in one area. But the situation is now being… you know, utilized by the hog traders na binibili pa rin nila iyong may sakit na from areas na apektado (hog traders are still buying infected hogs from affected areas),” he added.

He noted that in Central Luzon, some traders no longer slaughter pigs in proper slaughterhouses. The animal are reportedly slaughtered in residential areas and transported in secret to avoid government detection.

“Kinakatay na nila sa mga bahay-bahay nila and the hog traders are even using their private vehicles to transport, para hindi mapag-anuhan na sila ay—pero ang daming nasasabat hanggang Bicol nga (They slaughter the pigs in their houses and the hog traders are even using their private vehicles to transport them to avoid detection. but we have intercepted many products even as far as Bicol),” he said.

“We are again requesting everyone in the hog industry, the various stakeholders na makipagtulungan sa gobyerno at huwag na natin talagang ikalat pa (to cooperate with the government and not to spread the disease) by way of buying sick pigs or infected pigs,” he said.

At present, Dar said the ASF outbreak has been reported in Naga City, Camarines Sur. The area has been placed under a state of calamity to mobilize local government funds to address the situation.

“As of today, we have reached 1.85 percent of culled-out hogs based from a 12.8 million hog inventory. So, the areas, the newly… where outbreaks are occurring is in Camarines Sur and Naga,” he said.

He said they estimated the losses to the hog industry at P1 billion a year.

READ MORE: Meat shipment from China found positive for ASF