DA dispels ASF scare in Cagayan Valley

BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has debunked rumors that 13 dead piglets found dumped on Friday at the back of the Nueva Vizcaya Agricultural Terminal on the national highway here were afflicted with African swine fever (ASF).

In a phone interview Monday, Dr. Roberto Busania, agriculture regional technical director for operations and extension in Cagayan Valley, said the social media reports of ASF presence in Cagayan Valley are false.

“No ASF here in Region 2. Any reports should be validated by laboratory tests at the Bureau of Animal Industry and at the International Organization of Animal Health in England because of its possible economic implication,” he added.

Social media netizens were aghast to see the Facebook-posted photos of 13 dead, fly-infested piglets dumped at the back of the terminal. The post was shared 90 times before it was taken down by the uploader.

The backyard hog raiser allegedly butchered his hog after having difficulty in giving birth to the 13 piglets, which all died inside its womb.

Busania said the raiser was negligent for letting his drunken friends take the dead piglets, which they used as bait to catch large monitor lizards or “bayawak”.

Four quarantine checkpoints have been established in Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya, wherein task force members have been checking the entry and exit of swine to prevent the entry of ASF infected meat into the region.  Villamor Visaya, Jr / PNA – northboundasia.com