DA allays fears over swine fever virus in PH

MANILA — The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday allayed fears over the suspected swine fever virus in the country noting that even if tests conducted in hogs show positive results, measures are in place to keep the animal virus controlled.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said his agency will release results of confirmatory lab tests on hogs by Friday.

Asked if the threat of the animal disease should be a cause for concern, Dar assured that quarantine and safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of the dreaded animal virus.

“Wala po. (No cause for concern) Even positive, mas lalo kung negative ay okay. Kung positive naman, meron na tayong all over the country naka in place na yong quarantine and food safety measures (Even if it’s positive and all the more if it’s negative. If it’s positive, we have quarantine and food safety measures in place all over the country),” Dar said in a media interview.

He said DA is also working to ensure that the whole hog industry will not be placed at risk.

“Alam ninyo kung totoo yong suspetsa (If suspicions are true), this will kill the whole industry. That’s why ingat muna tayo (we have to be careful),” Dar said.

Dar said the public should not worry because his agency immediately confiscates slaughtered hogs that do not have veterinarian health certificates and National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS) certificates.

“Wag mabahala ang publiko kasi basta yong proseso na bago katayin nandiyan ang veterinarian health certificate, pag kinatay mayroon tatak na NMIS certificate (The public should not worry because there is a process wherein before a hog is slaughtered, there will be a veterinarian health certificate, after they are slaughtered there will be an NMIS),” Dar said.

“Kung wala ang mga ito, ikukumpiska namin lahat yan (Without these, we will confiscate them all),” he added.

At present, some areas in the country remain quarantined because of reports of the rising number of hog deaths in their localities.

Concerns on suspected swine fever rose after farmers said their livestock showed loss of appetite, recumbency, vomiting, skin hemorrhage, dark discoloration in the extremities, and sudden death.   Azer Parrocha / PNA – northboundasia.com