TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in region (DA-8) has confirmed more cases of African swine fever (ASF) in two other Leyte towns, an agency official said Tuesday, January 19.
DA-8 Executive Director Angel Enriquez said that results of the confirmatory test conducted on the blood samples taken from the municipalities of Javier and La Paz, both in Leyte, showed that these were positive for the ASF virus, as confirmed by the Bureau of Animal Industry Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory (BAI ADDRL).
“This is part of our proactive monitoring on areas outside the previously confirmed cases of ASF in Abuyog, Leyte,” she said.
The ASF cases were found in Barangays Mag-aso and Luneta in La Paz, Leyte, and Barangays Comatin, Caranhug, and Abuyogay, in Javier, Leyte.
Initial investigation conducted by the Regional Disease Investigation and Surveillance Team revealed that the ASF virus may have been transmitted in local farms through infected boars being used for natural mating. This may have caused the spread of the virus to adjoin municipalities, even before the ASF case was confirmed in Abuyog.
There were also hog traders who may have fed their stocks with contaminated food products, thus, infecting slaughter hogs.
The Regional ASF Task Force immediately convened the local officials of the two municipalities to institute strict border security through the establishment of checkpoints and plan out appropriate responses in preparation for the mandatory depopulation within the 500-meter radius, and further collection of blood samples and monitoring in the surveillance zones based on the modified 1-7-10 ASF protocol.
“We would like to assure the public that the concerned Local Government Units, together with the Regional ASF Task Force will continue to institute proactive measures such as strict enforcement of quarantine procedures, restriction of animal movement, disinfection, and clearing of affected areas,” Enriquez said.
She also advised the farmers to cooperate and observe strict quarantine measures, avoid swill feeding, and immediately report to the nearest local Veterinary or Agriculture Office of any incidence of unusual mortalities, observation of discoloration of body extremities, and high fever in pigs.
Meanwhile, more LGUs in Eastern Visayas have banned the transport of swine and pork-related products.
Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado has issued an executive order banning the transportation of live hogs, pork, pork-related products, and by-products outside the province and regulating the transport of the same within the province due to the threat of African Swine Fever.
Transport of live hogs within the province is also regulated subject to strict compliance with documentary requirements and regulations.
Mayor Richard Gomez has ordered the closure of Ormoc City’s land borders to the transport of pigs and pork products from Mindanao upon the recommendation of their city veterinarian.
The local government of Barugo, Leyte has placed Barangay Canomantag under hard veterinary lockdown starting Tuesday, January 19, due to information that pork from an infected village in Javier was brought to the barangay.
Veterinary Quarantine Checkpoints in major borders were also established to prevent the transport of live swine in the municipality and further spread of the virus.
The selling of hogs and pork has also been prohibited outside the municipality.