DA-BAI begins African Swine Fever vaccine trials

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) started its Swine Fever vaccine trials in provinces previously affected by the disease.

The vaccine trials were conducted in cooperation with the US vaccine company Zoetis.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the Swine Fever vaccine trials started on April 23, 2021, with 10 commercial farms joining.

“The vaccine trials complement our ongoing ‘Bantay ASF sa Barangay’ program. We consider it as the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ that would free us from this dark episode that adversely affected our industry, and pork supply and prices,” Dar said.

“Once proven effective, the ASF vaccine will serve as a potent tool, complementing our joint efforts with the LGUs, private sector, and hog raisers to effectively control, contain and manage the spread of the ASF, thus paving way for the industry’s faster recovery,” he added.

The DA-BAI personnel and veterinarians would monitor the Swine Fever vaccine trials for 84 days, in accordance with the current protocols set by the government technical working group, Zoetis Philippines Inc, and the vaccine manufacturer.

DA-BAI said Zoetis is the major collaborator of the experimental new vaccine for ASF, which has prevented the virus from killing pigs in early trials in other countries.

DA-BAI begins African Swine Fever vaccine trials

“We are now coordinating with the provincial veterinarians on the conduct of the vaccine trials to ensure successful implementation. Likewise, our BAI veterinarians have already undergone orientation and are ready for deployment,” Dar said.

“The trials in the respective farms will depend on the agreement by the concerned parties, the availability of trial animals, schedule of the farm and BAI veterinarian and Zoetis representatives,” he added.

In February, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said that the procurement of African Swine Fever vaccines has been delayed because the  prioritized the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.

According to the Department of Agriculture records, about four million pigs amid were killed due to ASF during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, the National Capital Region and the rest of Luzon are facing a shortage in  supply. The price of pork in the market also spiked, forcing the government to impose a .

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