Authorities are monitoring two new strains of African swine fever reported from China that were allegedly obtained from the unregistered vaccine against the disease.
The strains are feared by some groups, especially as it can cling to frozen meat, even canned ones.
According to authorities, it is not deadly, but it causes a condition in which fewer pigs are born.
More than 1,000 pigs have been hit by new strains in China. The problem, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry, is that it is difficult to detect and control compared to the previous strain.
“Kapag ‘yung variant mo ang epekto niya ay mild disease, tatamlay na siya, lalagnatin na siya, napakahirap na sakit niyan kasi maraming sakit na ganyan ang diagnosis, manifestation niyan. Mahirap ang kaniyang management,” said BAI Director Ronnie Domingo.
As a result, the Philippines is careful not to immediately conduct field trials of ASF vaccines.
2 new strains of ASF monitored, feared
Some groups of pig farmers are worried that the new strains will re-enter the country. The DA is studying to remove the tariff on imported pork.
He said the agency sees imports as a solution to alleviate the country’s shortage of pork.
The problem is, the new ASF virus can survive in frozen meat for up to 300 days.
According to the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines, they have long called for the government to intensify border control to check all imported meat, even hand-carried items that are canned goods that may be susceptible to the ASF virus.
“Wala tayo nung tinatawag na first border inspection facilities kung saan sana mache-check ‘yan bago natin tanggapin ang ini-import na karne ng baboy, manok o kung ano mang ini-import. Dadaan diyan eh puwede natin i-reject kung may dala ‘yang bird flu, ASF,” said Nicanor Briones, vice president of the group.
The Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura insists that it is necessary to import pork because there is a shortage of local supply, as long as the tariff is not removed, and border control is adjusted, which is considered hope to prevent the new strain of ASF.