African swine fever ‘worse’ than COVID-19 – group

A group of hog raisers in Pampanga is appealing for additional government assistance while there is yet for African Swine Fever (ASF), which is said to be more difficult to cure than -19.

It is more difficult to fight ASF than COVID-19, said Wency Tangcongco, president of the Pampanga Swine Producers Association.

“Walang sinabi sa COVID-19, napakahirap ng ASF,” he said.

“Mahirap po pigilan ang ASF kasi kahit anong disinfectant po gamitin namin, magspre-spray kami maghapon tapos bago pumasok isang araw pero tinatamaan pa din kami,” he added.

Many small pig farmers in the province are already in debt because even piglets are dying due to ASF, said Toto Gonzales, Association Manager of the Pampanga Swine Producers Association.

“Kapag kami nag-restock gamit ‘yung mga konting itinabing baboy para gawing inahin, pagnamatay po sila namamatay din e,” he said.

At least 100,000 pigs from the Visayas and Mindanao are delivered to Luzon to maintain adequate supply nationwide. At the same time, there is no vaccine for ASF, according to the Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista.

fever ‘worse’ than COVID-19 – group

Last month, Agriculture Secretary William Dar assured the public that the supply of pork in the country is enough for the Christmas holidays despite the continued threat of the African swine fever (ASF).

“Marami pa tayong imbentaryo, if we compare iyong imbentaryo natin last year, the same period, mayroon tayong 55% more pork,” Dar said.

However, the DA chief appealed to cold storage owners to release the frozen pork products regularly.

“Mayroon tayong tinitingnan na minamanipula nila iyong paglabas ng frozen pork kasi mayroon naman nandiyan na sa mga cold storages natin,” he said. “We will do what is necessary para mapalabas regularly itong mga nasa warehouses.”

Dar said the African swine fever outbreak had affected 25 provinces, and around 350,000 pigs have been culled to prevent the spread of the disease.

“It continues to be a threat to the Philippine swine industry, and let me further mention na there are just a few countries in the world which have successfully eradicated ASF. Pero, it took them kagaya ng Spain, 30 years,” Dar said.