4 Davao Sur villages under tight watch for ASF

At least four villages in Davao del Sur are being under tight monitoring by the provincial veterinary office after receiving reports of suspected African Swine Fever (ASF) in those areas, an official said Monday.

In the interest of transparency, I would like to tell you that we have four barangays in the province that are under investigation due to suspected presence of the ASF, said Dr. Russel Celis, the provincial veterinarian.

The affected villages are Aplaya in Hagonoy Town; and Palili, Laperas, and Solongvale in the municipality of Sulop.

Celis said the pigs in the four villages are being locked down as a form of preventive measures in the event that the blood samples taken from the pigs in the area will turn out positive.

The current action is to ensure that when laboratory result will be positive, the infection has no chance of spreading in the neighboring barangays since it is already contained during the lockdown. We don't have to wait for the official report before taking preventive measures, Celis said.

If the tests proved negative, he said they will immediately lift the lockdown in those barangays.

He added that positive results would mean the immediate implementation of the "1 7 10 protocol' of the Department of Agriculture (DA), which calls for the culling of pigs within the one kilometer radius from the site.

Under the protocol, owners of pigs within the seven kilometer radius would still be able to sell their animals within the municipality, while those inside the 10 kilometer radius can be sold even outside the locality provided that this has approval from the veterinary officers in the area.

Meanwhile, Celis vehemently denied reports aired over a television station that Sulop is already infected by the ASF virus.

Davao del Sur is still officially ASF free contrary to reports posted on social media that created alarm and panic to the hog raisers and traders, as well, he said.

We are still conducting a census of hogs population while in the process of monitoring all the areas so that any sign of the ASF infection will be swiftly acted upon, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency