GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 20 July) – Authorities found African Swine Fever (ASF) on several pigs at a village in this city, prompting the City Veterinary Office (CVO) to order the immediate extermination of close to 80 heads of swine in the area.
The incident came days after the city government allowed under strict conditions the passage of live hogs, pork and its processed form, from other areas, using the city as transshipment point. The conditions set include compliance to various levels of biosecurity measures and accreditation for traders, swine vehicle operators, swine farm operators and others.
Dr. Emilio Gargaran, acting CVO head, said on Tuesday that the infected swine were at a hog farm in Purok Masagana in Barangay Baluan.
Tests conducted on Monday by the Department of Agriculture (DA) satellite laboratory on blood samples taken randomly from three pigs yielded positive results on ASF infection.
Gargaran said they immediately culled 77 pigs from 35 hog raisers to prevent the ASF from spreading.
Earlier, Gargaran said they were informed that a pig died at a stockyard of a hog trader in Baluan, which prompted them to immediately check and collect blood samples.
This is the third time that ASF was found among pigs after a reported outbreak last January at Purok San Lorenzo, an urban village known for hog-raising residents. At least 500 heads of swine were exterminated then.
The first ASF outbreak in this city known only to few was in 2020, when hundreds of pigs were culled and secretly buried in barangay Conel. This was confirmed by a former veterinary official and a local legislator.
Local hog traders here pride themselves as sources of ASF-free swine with the city’s strict policy against ASF.
This city’s ₱8.4-billion hog industry is the third largest in the country and about 5,000 farm workers rely on it for livelihood. (Rommel G. Rebollido / MindaNews)