Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the deadly swine virus is only considered an outbreak in several areas of Rizal and Bulacan, but not in the entire country.
Dar explained the rapidly developing disease is only being managed, contained, and controlled in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan, and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo, Rizal.
“The African swine fever episodes in several areas in Bulacan and Rizal may be considered an outbreak but not an epidemic,” a DA statement, quoting Dar, stated.
Dar issued the clarification after several media reports stated that ASF has already been officially declared a nationwide outbreak by the Bureau of Animal Industry.
He appealed to the public not to ignite fears by releasing unverified and unvalidated reports that could create an irreversible damage to the country’s P260-billion swine industry.
“Around two-thirds or 65 percent of the industry is contributed by small backyard raisers,” Dar said, adding the swine sector provides livelihood to millions of Filipino families.
Dar said that 7,416 pigs in the one-kilometer radius in ASF areas in Rizal and Bulacan have already been depopulated, following the 1-7-10 protocol of the DA to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease.
For instance, one ASF-infected slaughterhouse in Barangay Gitnang Bayan 1, San Mateo, Rizal, has already been closed, cleaned, and disinfected.
Continuous strict surveillance is being conducted in areas near ASF-infected barangays in Rizal and Bulacan.
Dar assured the public that the incident will not affect the supply and prices of pork in the market, stressing that the ASF is confined and specific in certain areas only and not in the entire country.
The DA, in partnership with the local government units, the private sector, Philippine National Police and the military, enhanced its monitoring activities and imposed stricter biosecurity and quarantine measures to contain the spread of ASF in other areas.