December 6, 2023

LAGAWE, Ifugao – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET) is seeking the assistance and cooperation of the municipalities in monitoring and help in the surveillance of the African Swine Fever (ASF),  which continues to affect the province’s swine industry.

Agriculturist II Ferdinand Dunuan of the PVET said the ASF began in January and spread in some municipalities affecting many piggeries and backyard farms even in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As of May, the PVET recorded more than 1,600 pigs culled or depopulated and 183 swine raisers affected.

There are five municipalities with ASF cases, namely Asipulo, Banaue, Hingyon, Kiangan, and Lagawe. Asipulo and Kiangan are the most affected towns.  

Dunuan said they are doing their best effort to contain the spread of this disease but with limited manpower to monitor and address the problem in the province, they need the assistance and cooperation of the 11 municipalities to monitor and help in the surveillance of the animal disease and report them to their office for prompt and appropriate action.

ASF is a fatal animal disease that can wipe out the swine industry in the province, leaving a huge economic impact if the disease is not contained.

Dunuan said like the Covid-19, ASF has no known cure and vaccine, hence prevention and containment is the only antidote.

Among the measures that must be undertaken include reporting to the veterinary services suspicious cases of dead or alive pigs, observing biosecurity measures in pig farms, imposing a quarantine, disease surveillance, rapid culling of infected pigs, and proper disposal of all food waste coming from infected places.

Dunuan also advised the public not to eat or buy infected pork meat and their by-products.

ASF is caused by the organism DNA virus of the Asfaviridae family characterized by high fever loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs and death in two to 10 days on average with mortality rate as high as 100 percent.

Other symptoms include redness of ears, abdomen and legs, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Although ASF is said to be not a threat to human health or a food safety concern and cannot be transmitted to humans, humans can be carrier of the disease especially by transporting or eating contaminated pork meat and its by-products. – Dan B. Codamon