African Swine fever spreads to adjoining Magarao town despite strict controls in Bombon, Cam Sur

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PILI, Camarines Sur – African Swine Fever, a deadly disease of pigs, has spread out to nearby Magarao town despite efforts by Agriculture authorities and local government personnel in Bombon in enforcing lockdown measures on affected villages where ASF first occured Thursday, February 20.

Suspected villages with ASF presence in Magarao are Santa Lucia, Santo Tomas, San Miguel, San Pantaleon, and Santa Rosa.

Last Thursday, Camarines Sur Governor Migz Villafuerte raised red alert status for the entire province after the Department of Agriculture [DA] confirmed the presence of ASF in Bombon where several pig deaths were reported in the village of Santo Domingo. Farther follow-up tests by DA of the disease-stricken hogs has confirmed the ocurrence of ASF, thus convincing the Governor to raise the red alert status.

On Friday, Naga City which is only 7 kilometers from Bombon also imposed measures on ASF disease control and erected checkpoints on key city highways to stop or inspect the entry or movement of swine for sale in the city.

Over the week, DA and local government personnel have imposed disease control measures in and surrounding Bombon, with reports from DA that swine depopulation measures shall be imposed within a kilometer radius from the suspected epicenter of disease occurence.

It could not be confirmed if swine depopulation measures are already implemented as latest reports from DA says ASF has spread out to Magarao, an adjacent town of Bombon, after authorities on Monday confirmed several pig deaths in Magarao are likely to be linked to ASF pending final laboratory results.

DA authorities have expressed concern that there may be ASF-related pig deaths that were not reported to the agency.

Earlier in the week, 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/Bicol Today]

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