Antique town records first swine fever cases
ILOILO CITY — Antique province is no longer free from African swine fever (ASF) as the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the Western Visayas region confirmed that at least four hog deaths in Hamtic town were caused by the highly contagious animal disease.
Jose Albert Barrogo, DA officer in charge in the region, said four of the five blood samples taken from hogs in Hamtic and sent by the Provincial Veterinary Office to the DA Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) in Iloilo City on June 19 tested positive for ASF.
This is the first time swine fever infected hogs in Antique, more than three years since the outbreak was reported in the country.
Antique, until this week, held the distinction of being the last ASF-free province in Western Visayas. Other provinces in the region that earlier recorded swine fever cases were Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras and Negros Occidental.
Barrogo called on the local government of Hamtic to immediately implement depopulation and culling of hogs within the 500-meter radius of the site where the infections were detected to stop the spread of the viral disease.
Calamity declaration in Antique town
He said Hamtic officials could declare the town under a state of calamity by using DA’s laboratory results so the local government could extend assistance to hog raisers.
The RADDL diagnoses, however, would need further confirmation from the Bureau of Animal Industry’s central office, said Barrogo.
As of Wednesday, at least 1,359 pigs in 22 of Hamtic’s 47 barangays died due to different hog diseases.
According to the Hamtic municipal agriculture office, the hog deaths in the town resulted in losses amounting to P13.04 million. The town has a hog population of about 9,000, government records showed.
The provincial government of Antique has released P1 million to reinstate border controls, which were placed in 2022 after the first swine fever cases were detected in Iloilo province.