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African swine fever in the Philippines

The Office of the City Veterinarian in Zamboanga City has set up checkpoints alongside those of the police and military to guard against the possible entry into the city of pigs infected with African swine fever.

Dr. Arnedo Abgayani, assistant city veterinarian, says they will bar the entry of pigs and pork products without the necessary veterinary health certificate and shipping permit.

The city veterinarian's office is keeping an eye on pork and pork products from China "because it is one source of the ASF."

Arnado said local raisers must also submit to inspection and will need to secure the required documentation when transporting pigs and pork.

"As of the moment, there has been no reports and monitoring of entry of ASF infected pigs and its by-products," Arnado says. 

The Bureau of Animal Industry has confirmed that the number of cases of African swine fever in the Philippines has reached outbreak level, News 5 reports.

Outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization,  "the occurrence of disease cases in excess of normal expectancy."

The announcement comes within days of pigs being found floating along the Marikina River and in a creek in Quezon City amid cases of ASF.


"It was utterly irresponsible on the part of backyard raisers as they did not only violate current laws, but their misdoing also spread the disease pathogens much faster," Agriculture Secretary William Dar said of the dumping of pig carcasses.

"They violated the Animal Welfare Act, as they deprived their dead pigs of adequate care, maltreating them in the process."

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs that has no cure and no vaccine. Mortality rates are as high as 100%.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, ASF can be transmitted through direct contact with infected pigs, ingestion of contaminated materials such as food waste, feed or garbage, or contaminated fomites or biological vectors.

Historically, there have been reported outbreaks in Africa and parts of Europe, South Africa and the Carribean. More recently, the disease has been reported in countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. 


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