DA reports 72 new outbreaks of ASF

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    THE Department of Agriculture (DA) yesterday reported 72 new outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in the country, most of which were recorded in the province of Nueva Ecija.

    A submission of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) showed that the 72 new outbreaks caused the death of 104 hogs and the culling of 33,406.

    The BAI said most of the ASF cases were from Nueva Ecija, which has 14 new outbreaks; followed by Quezon province with 10, while Isabela and Camarines Sur has eight each.

    Pangasinan also has seven new outbreaks, while Laguna has six, Batangas with five, La Union has four, Rizal with three, and Zambales and Cavite with two each.

    On the other hand, Ifugao, Kalinga and Ilocos Sur all recorded one outbreak each.

    The DA noted in the report that illegal movement of animals, swill feeding and spread through humans and vehicles remain as the cause of ASF’s spread in the country.

    Agriculture Undersecretary William Medrano said the spread of the disease was slowed down when the enhanced community quarantine was implemented in many parts of the country.

    The figure, however, slowly climbed up when travel restrictions were eased.

    “Based on our forecast, there will be a deficit for pork equivalent to 45 days at the end of the year. This is just a forecast and we can still act to maybe prevent it. We will need the re-population of hogs in Visayas and Mindanao. There will also be a calibrated re-stocking and re-population in areas already hit with ASF,” Medrano said.