ASF cases in town shatter Northern Samar’s virus-free record
TACLOBAN CITY—Cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) have been recorded in the town of Lope de Vega, Northern Samar province.
According to Dr. Jose Luis Acompanado, provincial veterinarian, at least 120 pigs at the village of Bonifacio have already been culled to contain the spread of the virus.
Acompanado said a hog raiser informed his office about the death of pigs with signs of ASF infection last March 17. At least 10 pigs owned by the hog raiser had died starting last March 13.
In a phone interview, Acompanado said officials in the ASF task force held an emergency meeting and set up a border checkpoint to keep pigs in the town from being transported.
He said since March 25, the provincial veterinary office had already culled 120 pigs owned by 77 hog raisers, all at the village of Bonifacio, which has a total of 218 pigs.
Acompanado said hog raisers were assured of indemnification by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“We can say now that the ASF case in Lope de Vega is now under control as no such cases were reported in the nearby villages or towns,” he said.
Northern Samar, an entry point for those coming to Eastern Visayas from Luzon, has been ASF-free until the Lope de Vega cases.
The provincial government had closed its borders starting last Jan. 18 after ASF cases were confirmed by the DA in Abuyog town, Leyte province.
Since then, the towns of Leyte, Javier, Dulag, La Paz, Burauen, MacArthur, Palo, Pastrana, Tanauan, Mayorga, Jaro and Tolosa and Tacloban City, have reported ASF cases.
Over 16,000 pigs have been culled in these areas.
Acompanado said the provincial vet office continued to investigate how ASF in Lope de Vega started.
“We are looking into the possibility that the virus could have been brought by a meat trader who came from an area where there is a confirmed ASF case,” he said.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.