First case of ASF in Cebu confirmed

THE Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said it has confirmed the first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Carcar City, Cebu, after 58 out of 149 blood samples taken from pigs there tested positive.

In a statement, the BAI said that the City Veterinary Office of Carcar collected the samples, which were tested for ASF by the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Animal Disease Diagnosis Laboratory in Region VII on March 1.

The samples were taken in a stockyard in Carcar City, where the sampled hogs were kept alongside animals originating from Negros Island.

After the initial positive results, the samples were sent to the BAI for confirmation.

The Carcar and Cebu province veterinary offices are still trying to narrow down the source of the outbreak.

“All swine raisers and stakeholders are encouraged to report any unusual pig mortalities and sickness to their respective agriculture/veterinary offices, intensify the biosecurity measures and stop the use of swill,” the BAI said.

On Monday, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia signed an executive order temporarily banning the entry of pigs, pork products and pork related products from Negros Island until April 5.

Since 2019, Cebu province has been banning the entry of live hogs and pork products from areas hit by the virus.

Cebu has a P11-billion hog industry. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera