Cebu City Vet’s Office testing 3 dead pigs in Lusaran hog farms for ASF
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The three pigs that died this month in different hog farms in Lusaran, a mountain barangay in Cebu City, have been sent to the City Veterinarian’s Office for African Swine Fever (ASF) tests.
Engineer Joey Baclayon, Cebu City Agriculture Department, said despite endorsing the dead pigs to the City Veterinarian’s Office for the ASF tests, he believed that the pigs had died of other causes other than ASF.
Baclayon, however, said this was just part of the measures to ensure that ASF would not enter Cebu City.
Read more: Cebu City mayor forms task force for African Swine Fever prevention
Although the test results had not yet been released, he said that that it was most likely that the pigs died of other causes especially since the pigs were the only ones that died in their respective hog farms.
“If it was ASF, the other pigs should have died as well, but the hog farms they come from have not reported any other deaths or any sickness manifested by the others,” said Baclayon in a phone interview.
ASF, according to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs that causes high fever, loss of appetite, haemorrhages in the skin, and internal organs, and death to the affected pigs.
The virus has reportedly entered in Luzon and the Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has ordered strict monitoring of the entry of meat products into the city.
The virus does not pose any risk to humans. However, humans who consume affected meat are capable of infecting swine through various means, such as when human waste infects the water system, then infecting agricultural lands, until finally reaching the pigs.
Mitigating measures if …
Even so, Baclayon said they were waiting for the results because if the pigs did die of ASF, the city had to start implementing mitigation measures such as ASF testing in all hog farms or in the worst scenario, the ban of pork in markets.
As of August 2019, there are more than 3,000 pigs raised in over 900 hog farms in at least 15 barangays in Cebu City, mostly in the mountain areas.
One thousand five hundred of these swine are insured by the farmers through the CAD insurance program.
The three pigs that died were among the insured pigs, allowing the farmers to get an assistance from the city government following their deaths.
With this, Baclayon encouraged the hog farmers to apply for insurance at the CAD office so they could receive assistance should the unthinkable happen and ASF could enter the city. /dbs
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