DA belies exaggerated reports on ASF
The Department of Agriculture (DA) clarified to the ppublic that among African Swine Fever(ASF)–related hog fatality globally, only 0.003% were from the Philippines.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said as per the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), global deaths due to ASF have reached 2,530,969 since ASF first appeared in Kenya in 1921, as compared to 7,416 ASF cases in the Philippines, as of end of August 2019.
This translates to merely 0.0029 percent, or three (3) deaths for every 1,000 pigs. These cases represent a minuscule six (6) deaths for every 10,000 pigs of the country’s total swine population, which stood at 12.7 million, as of July 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
According to the DA, the recent newspaper report that the Philippines accounts for a huge majority of all African Swine Fever (ASF) deaths globally is grossly misleading, malicious and irresponsible.
The DA chief said such misleading stories create panic among pork consumers and the general public, and could destroy the country’s ₱260-billion swine industry that provides income and livelihood for millions of Filipino families. This is because small backyard raisers comprise two-thirds of the country’s swine industry.
Further, Dar assures that the DA and other partners from other government agencies and the private sector are doing their utmost to effectively manage, control, and contain the threat of ASF – to protect the industry and to ensure the health of consumers.
“We continue to remind that local pork, provided NMIS-certified, is safe to eat,” Dar concluded.