Swine fever outbreak hits Iligan City village
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Agriculture officials in Northern Mindanao are acting fast to contain an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in a village in Iligan City in a bid to protect the region’s P21-billion hog industry.
Carlene Collado, the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional director, said 664 pigs had been culled since Nov. 13 in Barangay Pugaan, a hinterland community about 10 kilometers away from the city center.
Collado said the agency resorted to culling to stop the spread of the virus to other hog populations in the city and the rest of the region. He said the serum specimen samples taken from hogs in Pugaan tested positive for the virus causing swine fever.
The DA has activated the regional ASF task force to draw up measures to check the spread of the swine disease. It is also coordinating with the Iligan City government to have the affected village isolated and to conduct proper disposal of infected animals.
The DA has set a 500-meter radius containment zone where no person or hog is allowed to enter or get out.
In the Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2019 Swine Situation Report, Northern Mindanao ranks third in hog production, next to Central Luzon and Calabarzon regions, with 200,965 metric tons in live weight valued at more than P21 billion (average price of P105 a kilo).
Collado said the DA had stopped the transport of fresh pork and processed pork products from Iligan to other areas in Northern Mindanao
Mayor Celso Regencia has ordered the city veterinarian and the local police to restrict the transport of pigs in the city.In Cebu province, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she was not easing restriction on the entry of hogs, pork and pork-based products from Luzon and Mindanao despite the surge in demand this Christmas season.
Garcia said the decision was meant to prevent the entry of swine fever which could deliver a blow to the swine industry in the province. —WITH A REPORT FROM ADOR VINCENT MAYOL