Pork supply sufficient despite ASF

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    Fourteen new outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in the country were reported but the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) assured supply of pork is sufficient.

    A report by the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the BAI to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) showed most of the new cases of ASF were recorded in Davao del Sur.

    The report, dated Sept. 28, 2020, came after last week’s submission by the Philippines where it noted 72 new ASF outbreaks. This caused the death of 104 hogs and the culling of 33,406.

    Meanwhile, the 14 new outbreaks resulted in the culling of 7,518 hogs.

    The report showed Davao del Sur had six outbreaks; followed by North Cotabato with five; Davao del Norte with two; and Saranggani with one.

    The DA is conducting surveillance of meat movement, screening, quarantine, disposal of affected carcasses and by-products as well as zoning and disinfection to contain infection.

    It is also holding ante and post-mortem inspections.

    In a virtual briefing yesterday, BAI director Ronnie Domingo assured most areas of Visayas and Mindanao are still free from ASF as the disease is mainly concentrated in Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

    Domingo said as of September 21, total pork inventory in accredited cold storages stands at 46,249.15 metric tons (MT), of which 37,848.54 MT are imported and the remaining 8,400.61 MT from local sources.

    This year’s volume of meat in accredited cold storages is 18 percent higher compared to Sept. 23, 2019’s record of 39,120.22 MT comprised of 32,050.69 MT imported meat and 7,069.53 from local producers.

    Domingo appealed for the cooperation of hog raisers in reporting unusual mortalities of pigs in their farms.

    “As of today, there is no cure and vaccine for ASF. This disease is already 100 years old but nobody has yet to develop a vaccine,” he said.

    Data from the Philippine Statistics Agency show that as of Sept. 26, 2020, prevailing retail price of pork kasim is at P240 per kilogram (kg.) and at a high of P280 per kg and a low of P220 per kg.

    Meanwhile, prevailing retail price of pork liempo for the similar period is at P280 per kg and at a high of P300 per kg and a low of P230 per kg.