80 million peso losses incurred due to African Swine Fever

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /08 Feb) — Commercial and backyard hog growers in Davao Region have incurred an estimated P79.81 million in revenue losses after the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) wreaked havoc in three towns of Davao Occidental and two barangays in Davao City since the first case was reported on January 28, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Saturday.

In a press conference at the Acacia Hotel Davao on Saturday, Dar reported that 7,197 pigs in Don Marcelino, Malita, and Sta. Maria in the province of Davao Occidental had been culled as of Saturday while city government of Davao has yet to schedule the slaughtering of some 2,780 pigs in Barangays Lamanan and Dominga in Calinan District that also reported an outbreak last week.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar gives updates on the African Swine Fever at the press conference Saturday afternoon, 08 February 2019 at the Acacia Hotel in Davao CIty.

Citing data from Philippine Statistics Authority, Dar said the pigs affected comprised closely one-percent of the total population at 941,000 in Davao Region.

He said the pigs within the one-kilometer radius of areas that reported an outbreak would be culled in compliance with the “1-7-10” protocol to manage, contain, and control the spread of the ASF.

The protocol requires that all pigs within the one-kilometer radius of infected farms will be culled, limit animal movement within seven-kilometer radius, and require swine farms within a 10-kilometer to submit a mandatory report on the disease, according to DA-11 director Ricardo Oñate Jr.

“For the initial outbreak in Davao Occidental, all the tracing back analysis would point out that the outbreak was caused by swill feeding, food waste that had been contaminated with the virus in the pork or pork products, transferred this virus to the local population of hogs in Don Marcelino,” he said.

A team wearing protecctive gear is deployed to collect pigs from residents in the town of Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental on 5 February 2020, for culling to avoid the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF). Don Marcelino is the ‘Ground Zero’ for ASF in Mindanao. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

He added that the DA and LGUS have been closely coordinating to “really manage, control, and contain” the disease and prevent it from spreading to other parts of Mindanao.

We have advised all LGUs to increase their monitoring and surveillance,” he said.

He said provincial veterinarians have been deployed to undertake a massive surveillance on backyard and commercial piggeries to check with the owners possible symptoms of the infection among their livestock.

Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental, ‘Ground Zero’ for African Swine Fever in Mindanao, is 188 kilometers away from Barangay Dominga in Davao City. Barangays Dominga and Lamanan in Davao City are on lockdown having been confirmed positive for ASF.

“It’s a massive monitoring and surveillance mechanism that must be in place. LGUs should really further strengthen their efforts,” he said. 

In Davao City, the City Council passed a resolution on Friday declaring Barangays Dominga and Lamanan, Calinan District under a state of calamity due to ASF, and subsequently passed a proposed measure to granting authority to the City Mayor Sara Duterte to utilize a portion of the 30-percent quick response fund out of the 5-percent disaster risk reduction and management fund of the City Government of Davao to grant P20 million as financial assistance to the affected hog raisers.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)