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Dead pigs found in QC being tested for swine fever

City veterinary dep’t awaits results from Bureau of Animal Industry
/ 05:14 AM September 12, 2019

DEATH BY SWINE FEVER? The discovery of three dead pigs in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City, prompts an investigation by the police, city veterinary department and Bureau of Animal Industry. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Three dead pigs found in Barangay Silangan, Quezon City on Wednesday were being tested for African swine fever, according to the chief of the city’s veterinary department.

Quezon City chief veterinarian Ana Cabel said the pigs were dumped near a dead dog in a rocky area beside a creek in Sitio Veterans.

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The discovery was immediately reported to the Bureau of Animal Industry whose personnel took tissue samples from the pigs for testing.

The city’s veterinary department has yet to be informed of the results.

“African swine flu-infected pigs usually have red-purple skin discoloration, but while we saw this [in] the dead pigs [during] our initial diagnosis, we can only determine their cause of death through laboratory testing,” Cabel said.

Two weeks ago, Mayor Joy Belmonte ordered the closure of all backyard piggeries in Quezon City after cases of swine fever disease were reported in Rizal province.

The city veterinary department has also been regularly inspecting markets to prevent the sale of “double-dead” meat or “botcha” that may carry diseases.

But according to Cabel, none of the dead pigs they have recovered so far in Quezon City has tested positive for the virus.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently confirmed the presence of African swine fever in the country after 14 out of 20 blood samples taken from sick pigs that later died in backyard piggeries tested positive for the disease.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the blood samples were sent for testing to the United Kingdom.

The DA, however, assured the public there was no epidemic of the disease and that local pork products were safe to eat.

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The virus causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs that often leads to their death, although it is not harmful to humans.

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TAGS: African swine fever, Ana Cabel, Bureau of Animal Industry, QC dead pigs
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