ASF confirmed in 2 Cagayan de Oro villages, 2 Misamis Oriental towns
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Agriculture officials confirmed that African swine fever (ASF) was the cause of death of pigs in two Misamis Oriental towns and two villages in the city.
Carlene Collado, regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture (DA), said ASF had already entered the city and Misamis Oriental as shown by results of tests made on blood samples of pigs in four villages—one each in the towns of Manticao and Initao in Misamis Oriental and two in the city.
Collado said on Wednesday that the samples had been brought to DA labs in the city and General Santos and returned with positive results.
Councilor George Goking, chair of the city council’s trade and commerce committee, said he expected prices of pork to go up in public markets following the confirmation of ASF cases in two city villages.
“There is this fear that stocks will dwindle and prices will skyrocket due to the report of ASF in our city,” Goking said.
The Misamis Oriental provincial veterinary office reported swine deaths in the towns of Manticao and Initao in the last week of January.
Dr. Benjamin Resma, the provincial veterinarian, said in a radio interview on Wednesday that at least 37 pigs owned by backyard raisers died in Manticao and Initao.
The animals showed ASF symptoms like bleeding, difficulty in breathing and dark spots on the body.
Agriculture technicians already established a 500-meter radius cordon in the two towns and continued to take blood samples from pigs.
Resma said he had also asked local government officials and hog raisers not to sell or move their livestock from their farms even before test results came out.
He said he had already met with mayors and village chiefs to ask them “to see to it that there would be no movement of hogs.”
Although the regional DA office has a testing lab for ASFP, samples had to be brought to another lab in General Santos city for confirmatory tests, said Carlota Madriaga, DA regional technical director for operations.
The General Santos lab confirmed the ASF infection, Collado said on Wednesday.
After the first ASF cases were reported in Mindanao, agriculture officials had been warning hog growers that it would “just (be) a matter of time” before the infection spreads.
Goking said his committee at the Cagayan de Oro City council already received complaints from vendors that suppliers were jacking up farm gate prices of pigs, forcing retailers raise prices, too.
The regional DA has set a price ceiling of P300 per kg for pork since early January.
Goking said the council’s trade and commerce committee would meet with hog growers and meat vendors next week to address prices.
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