PCAFI calls for stricter biosecurity amid hog disposals in bodies of water in NCR
As new potential cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) are yet to be confirmed, The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food (PCAFI) has urged the government to implement stricter biosecurity measures to prevent the virus from spreading.
Just days after the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that the ASF cases in Bulacan and Rizal has already been contained, hog carcasses were found in a creek in Quezon City and Marikina River. According to a report from CNN Philippines, blood samples were sent, through the Bureau of Animal Industry, to a laboratory in the United Kingdom to confirm if the hogs found in Brgy Bagong Silangan, Quezon city were infected.
“Offenders should be prosecuted as this is apparently a violation of certain memorandum act of DA regarding the disposal of dead hogs,” said PCAFI President Danilo V. Fausto. “Stricter implementation of biosecurity procedures should be observed.”
At the same time, Fausto said there should also be more information program declaring the scare against hog consumption since ASF does not adversely affect human health. This is also confirmed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III During the DA’s announcement of the entry of ASF in the country.
Edwin Chen, president of PCAFI member Pork Producers Federation of the Phils (Propork), said hog raisers, particularly those from small backyards, should be advised to observe proper disposal of dead hogs.
“If the farm is in the backyard, the hogs (affected by the disease) should be culled first then buried immediately outside the farm at a depth (that may not be disturbed by other animals.) Depending on the number, it should be within a certain depth, maybe two meters if there are only a few.”
“In commercial farms or in a locality, DA people have a designated areas for burying these. The site should not be near a waterway or a creek.”
DA spokesman Noel Reyes said government will be prosecuting offenders on the handling of dead hogs based on the Animal Welfare Act and the Solid Waste Management Law.
There are several other ways of controlling spread of ASF, according to authorities. The Disease and Welfare guide of the Pigsite.com advises the following:
· Prevention of feeding of contaminated feed and contaminated food waste used to supplement hog feed
· Control of the animals from the bites of soft bodied ticks, lies and flies
· Prevention of inoculation of the pigs with contaminated syringes and use of contaminated surgical equipment
· Prevention of introduction of infected pigs with uninfected ones.