By Madelaine B. Miraflor
While the Department of Agriculture (DA) is busy making sure that the country will have enough food supply during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the highly contagious animal disease African Swine Fever (ASF) is still spreading in Luzon, resulting to death and culling of more pigs.
In its latest notification to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said there has been 69 new ASF outbreaks in Luzon, compared to the 32 out¬breaks recorded in January.
During these outbreaks, 76 pigs died and were directly hit by ASF, while nearly 42,000 were killed and dis¬posed to contain the spread of the virus.
As a result, the virus already resulted to the death and culling of nearly 300,000 pigs, wiping out more than 2 percent of the country’s 12.8 million hog population.
Some of the areas that were most affected during these outbreaks are Quezon province, Camarines Sur, Pangasinan, Batangas, Nueva Ecija, and Bataan. Detected in the Philippines in August last year, ASF is a fatal animal disease that has already killed millions of pigs across different countries.