ASF cases in the Philippines down to 39 villages

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Only 39 barangays or villages in the Philippines continue to have active ASF cases to date, said Bureau of Animal Director (BAI) Reildrin Morales at a press conference on December 7.

The number is down from nearly 3500 barangays that reported ASF since they hit the country in 2019.

He said the country lost more than 3 million pigs, including breeders, to the disease, and the government continues its efforts to help the industry recover.

Reildrin Morales

Dr Morales said BAI, together with regional and local authorities, continues surveillance work to determine which areas in the country can begin repopulating.

“We have to validate the areas which have not reported ASF cases for some time so that we can change their status and get them ready for repopulation,” he said.

Sentinelling progress

To date, he said the government has distributed more than 9000 sentinel pigs in preparation for repopulation.

“The sentinel protocol is the best way for us to know the ASF virus is no longer present in an area,” Dr Morales explained, adding that if the sentinel pigs survive, then the area is already free of the virus.

The sentinel program, a key component of the government’s repopulation and recovery program, has so far benefited more than 3600 farmers in over 300 barangays. These barangays have already passed quarantine.

The Department of Agriculture has allotted about USD 8 million for the sentinel program in 2021 and another USD 18 million for 2022.

For related stories, please see:
Philippine agri chief calls for unity against ASF
Philippine government urges reporting of ASF cases
PH govt disburse sentinel pigs in preparation for restocking

Editor, Asian Pork Magazine, Manila, Philippines. Isa is the in-house expert on African swine fever, as her deep knowledge on the subject is imbued in articles such as, ‘Strategic testing and extraction help farms survive ASF’.