ASF cases reported in 4 Bataan towns

From two towns last week, the African swine fever (ASF) has now affected four out of 11 towns and one city in Bataan, municipal mayors confirmed in a meeting here Tuesday.

Samal and Orani are the two other towns found positive of the virus after Dinalupihan and Hermosa. The four are adjacent to each other. With ASF are five barangays in Dinalupihan, two in Hermosa, and one each in Orani and Samal.

Dinalupihan has 46 barangays; Hermosa, 23; Orani, 25; and Samal, 14.

Dinalupihan Mayor Maria Angela Garcia said in a press conference here on Tuesday that there are four barangays found ASF-positive and another one declared as ASF-infected in her town.

ASF-positive means the case or cases have been confirmed through laboratory tests, while ASF-infected means the virus was acquired from other hogs.

Also in the briefing to reporters were Mayor Efren Pascual Jr. of Orani and Mayor Joseph Inton of Hermosa.

The five barangays were established as quarantine zone while those outside the quarantine zone were declared as surveillance zone, Garcia said.

She said that as per the protocol of the Department of Agriculture, there are guidelines to follow in every zone which they are following to the letter.

Nagsagawa kami ng meeting sa (we conducted meeting in the) Bataan Mayors' League with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office to have an update on the ASF problem, she said. Garcia is president of the mayors' organization in the province.

Inton, on the other hand, said there are two barangays in Hermosa with ASF-infected hogs.

He said that affected by the virus are backyard piggeries, there being only one commercial piggery farm in the area.

He said they are ready to implement swine depopulation.

Kasalukuyang in-evaluate namin lahat at iko-contain na namin. Hinihintay lang namin ang supervision ng provincial veterinarian para sa culling (We are presently evaluating all the cases and we will contain it. We are just waiting for the supervision of the provincial veterinarian for the culling), Inton said, adding that about 500 pigs were scheduled to be culled.

Pascual said they received the laboratory result last Sunday that a hog farm in one barangay was positive of the virus.

Klaro isang kilometro sa protocol para hindi na makahawa. Inaayos na namin hangganan ng affected area (It is clear in the protocol a one-kilometer radius so that it will not affect others. We are fixing the border of the affected area), he said.

Protocol calls for depopulation in a one-kilometer radius from the affected area.

Pascual could not yet give the number of hogs within the one-kilometer stretch, saying he has asked barangay chairmen to make an inventory of the backyard piggeries.

Garcia said she was still gathering data on the number of pigs culled and to be culled in Dinalupihan as well as in Samal, based on the report of Mayor Aida Macalinao in their earlier meeting. Macalinao was not present in the press conference.

Garcia also enumerated the measures they have implemented in containing the virus.

She said that they have informed village officials and commercial swine raisers of the threat and the need to set up checkpoints.

They have also advised backyard raisers not to resort to swill feeding.

For everyone in the piggery farms to practice disinfection and see to it that the surroundings are clean, not to let visitors enter inside the piggery especially those coming from other farms and to follow security protocols, Garcia said.

She said there are checkpoints in various areas in Bataan and the executive order issued by Governor Albert Garcia is still in effect. The order bans the entry of live hogs from other areas to the province.

Also, slaughtering of pigs from ASF-free area needs a veterinary certificate concurred in by a government veterinarian.

We will create municipal task force in each of the affected towns so we can share experiences, situations and share what other people have done, Garcia said.

The three mayors said that in coordination with provincial veterinarian, Dr. Alberto Venturina, they are doing their best to prevent the spread of the virus to other areas.

Meanwhile, Mariveles Mayor Jocelyn Castaneda said they were fortunate that the virus has not reached their town.

Asked what they were doing to prevent the entry of ASF, she said, Baboy na kakatayin, kailangang sa Mariveles lang galing at hindi pwedeng bumili sa ibang bayan. Kailangan ding rehistrado ang mga backyard piggery (Hogs to be butchered should come only from Mariveles and buying from other towns is not allowed. Backyard piggeries must also be registered).

Source: Philippines News Agency

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