ASF now in five Iloilo towns

Intensified surveillance is in effect as the African Swine Fever is detected in more Iloilo towns. (Photo courtesy of Tigbauan BFP)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The head of the Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office (IPVO) on Monday confirmed that another town has fallen to the African Swine Fever (ASF), following confirmations from two neighboring towns in the same district.

IPVO chief Darel Tabuada confirmed to Daily Guardian that two hog heads out of six samples tested in Santa Barbara town yielded positive results for ASF in one barangay, affecting three backyard farmers.

The IPVO said the town remains under “Pink Zone” status or buffer zone as the cases were confined to one barangay, which is the sole “Red Zone” or the infected zone.

This means that a 500-meter radius from “Ground Zero” (where the first confirmed ASF cases in the barangay were detected) would be cordoned off, and live hogs, including the healthy ones, would be depopulated.

Intensified surveillance strategies will be implemented, particularly on backyard and commercial farms within a 1-kilometer radius from ground zero.

This follows a similar IPVO strategy in two other 2nd district towns – Alimodian and Leganes – which also logged confirmed ASF cases last Friday, albeit in one barangay for each town.

As of Monday, Nov 7, Alimodian has four ASF-positive hog heads in one village, while Leganes has four in another barangay.

The IPVO is set to visit Leganes within the week after their local government unit requested an inspection of hog farms in the town. Depopulation of hogs in the two towns is yet to be scheduled.

Meanwhile, San Miguel town has 32 positive ASF cases, while Oton has 162. The IPVO led and assisted in the depopulation of 195 and 795 hog heads in these towns, respectively.

As they are “Red Zones,” they may only transport live hogs and pork products to other red zones including the entire island of Luzon.

The IPVO says that they encouraged local hog raisers to transport their products there, but only farms that had been cleared for biosecurity measures and strategies are allowed to market their products.