More areas in the metropolis and nearby provinces, specifically in Central Luzon, are now under strict quarantine, imposed by the Department of Agriculture, to enable authorities to properly monitor the presence of the feared African swine fever or ASF.
READ: Dreaded virus zaps pigs
But Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV aired on GMA News TV beamed nationwide, stopped short of identifying the areas where ASF, a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of pigs, had made inroads.
Dar said they were not saying anything as yet to enable them to implement what he called the ‘1-7-10 Protocol’ under which quarantine checkpoints which monitor the movement of live pigs, pork, and pork products, were set up in areas within a 1-kilometer radius of affected farms.
Within a 7-kilometer radius, authorities surveil and limit animal movement.
Farm owners within the 10-kilometer radius were mandated to report any disease to the DA.
Agriculture officials earlier said ASF-affected areas were reported in Rodriguez and Antipolo, Rizal and in Guiguinto, Bulacan.
Dar reiterated his call for hog raisers not to conceal but rather immediately report to authorities any suspicious swine deaths following the stunning discovery of dead pigs floating in Marikina River and a Quezon City creek.
Immediately, Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro on Friday banned fishing in the Marikina River after dozens of the dead pigs floated down the waterway
the day before.
READ: More dead pigs dumped in Marikina
At the same time, the Quezon City Veterinary Department said it would kill all pigs in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City if samples taken from the dead pigs found in a stream would test positive for ASF.
Quezon City veterinarian Dr. Ana Maria Cabel told GMA News, heard nationwide, the three dead pigs and one pig head found in the stream had been burned after samples were taken by the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Dar said authorities would use both “convincing and compulsory powers” to compel affected hog raisers to surrender their pigs suspected with disease for culling.
He said some 7,416 pigs had been killed in those areas due to suspected ASF.
Agriculture officials were also reported continuing their investigation whether the pig carcasses in the Marikina River, a Quezon City creek and an irrigation waterway in Malolos, Bulacan were from areas placed under the 1-7-10 Protocol.
READ: Consumers, pork traders uneasy amid ASF scare