2 pigs from Bago test positive for ASF in Bacolod – Benitez

Negros Occ. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez lead a joint emergency animal biosecurity meeting Friday afternoon.*

Two pigs in Barangay Taculing, Bacolod City, tested positive for African swine fever (ASF), Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez announced Friday afternoon, May 26.

“The two pigs tested positive for ASF on Friday based on a convective PCR…although the samples will be sent to Manila for RT-PCR (confirmation), but they say this is 99 percent accurate,” Benitez said.

Pigs within 500 meters surrounding ground zero in Taculing will be culled, but there appears to be no other pigs in the area, he added.

It appears that the two ASF positive pigs are isolated cases, they found out that they came from Bago City, Benitez said.

The mayor assured that it is still safe to eat pork in Bacolod City.

“It is not a health hazard (to humans), but a threat to the industry,” he said

“The clear and present danger is the collapse of the industry if we do not do anything,” Benitez said.

Negros Occidental has a P6 billion hog industry.

The mayor and Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson held an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss joint containment measures.

They said they will come up with an order for joint operations by Monday.

Bacolod is a highly urbanized city that does not fall under the jurisdiction of the governor.

Lacson on May 16 created an Incident Management Team to prevent and contain the rising pig deaths in Negros Occidental.

As of Friday there were no laboratory results pointing to ASF positive cases in Negros Occidental, Lacson said.

“Although there is no official confirmation of ASF in the province we are treating it as if it’s ASF. We will be testing, we will be containing and if it is sick we will bury. In short we will not have a mass culling of these pigs. The healthy ones we will allow the owners to sell them or have lechon,” Lacson said.

There were 6,379 pig deaths in Negros Occidental from various diseases on Friday, Provincial Veterinarian Placeda Lemana said.

The average pig deaths in Negros Occidental a day have been 400, Provincial Administrator Rayfrando Diaz said.

The deaths in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th districts comprise 5.88 percent of Negros Occidental’s hog population.

Only the first and sixth districts of Negros Occidental have had no disease related hog deaths, he said.

The IMT has already put containment protocols in place in Negros Occidental to bring down the hog deaths, Diaz said.

Benitez said the city government will compensate affected piggeries in Bacolod.*

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