DA confirms 1st case of ASF in Davao Sur

The Department of Agriculture in Davao Region (DA 11) confirmed Wednesday that two of the four villages in Davao del Sur under tight watch for African Swine Fever (ASF) have been found positive of the animal disease.

Engineer Ricardo OAate Jr., DA 11 director, reported to Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas that the first case of ASF in the province was found positive of the virus after taking the blood samples of pigs from Barangay Palili, and Barangay Laperas, both in Sulop town.

Earlier, the provincial veterinary office implemented a lockdown in Barangay Solongvale, Palili, and Laperas in Sulop, and also Barangay Aplaya in Hagonoy town.

Dr. Russel Celis, the provincial veterinarian, said they immediately locked down the affected barangays even before the result of the blood samples.

Celis urged the community to remain calm since the provincial government is doing all the necessary measures to contain the spread of the disease to the adjacent villages.

OAate said he sought the assistance of Cagas in the establishment of additional quarantine stations in the said villages so that the infestation will not escalate to other areas.

In return, Cagas assured OAate of the provincial government's cooperation to help in the implementation of anti ASF protocols.

The way I see it, the ASF in Davao del Sur is spreading very slow. This is because we immediately take actions after receiving information that there was a threat of ASF in the area. This is unlike what happened to Davao Occidental that they failed to initiate actions after knowing the first ASF cases, Cagas said during the meeting with OAate.

Cagas also expressed concern over the fate of commercial hog raisers in Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur, including the manner by which the DA would compensate the losses that farmers would incur if their pigs are infected with ASF.

The DA has offered PHP5,000 per head to the hog raisers whose pigs will be subjected to culling and extermination.

OAate said only backyard hog raisers are prone to the disease since they do not have biosecurity measures in their area, and the ones feeding the pigs with swill foods.

In contrast, he said commercial hog raisers are equipped with biosecurity measures to prevent the entry of any disease inside their respective farms.

The Agriculture department has urged backyard raisers not to feed their pigs with leftover foods, which is known to cause the spread of the disease.

Source: Philippines News Agency