Governor Villafuerte raises red alert in Camarines Sur over ASF pig deaths

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PILI, Camarines Sur (Bicol Todoy) – Governor Migz Villafuerte on Thursday afternoon raised Red Alert status for the entire province after confirmation by the Department of Agriculture [DA] on Thursday, February 20, of the presence of African Swine Fever [ASF] in Bombon town when several hogs died in the village of Santo Domingo, the town barely 20 minutes drive from Naga City, Bicol Region’s premier city.

DA has conducted tests on pigs that died in Barangay Santo Domingo, Bombon and confirmed Thursday they were positive of ASF.

Governor Villafuerte issued a memorandum addressed to all Mayors, disaster risk reduction offices, and Barangay officials informing them of the Red Alert Status in the province, and spelled out the tasks and activities related to the control of ASF and measures leading to the elimination of the hog disease.

Rodel Tornilla, DA regional director said, in a statement, that organ samples from dead pigs were collected last February 10 at the village of Sto. Domingo.

Samples were sent to the Animal Disease Diagnostic Reference Laboratory at Bureau of Animal Industry in Quezon City.

DA has implemented biosecurity measures, after the report of swine mortality in the area.

Tornilla said both DA and the local government units are doing all they can to prevent the spread of the disease.

Alex Templonuevo, acting regional director of National Meat Inspection Service, also said there were reports of swine deaths from backyard piggery owners in nearby areas.

Templonueva said “There were, previously, other swine deaths but were not reported to DA and we are conducting investigation and surveillance in other areas.”

According to Director Tornilla, the Regional Quick Response Team will immediately depopulate the swine population within one kilometer radius from where the confirmed case was discovered.

Tornilla warns consumers against buying live pigs and pork products from affected areas. [Joey Natividad]

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