PVO on ‘heightened alert’ after Luzon hogs test positive for ASF

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) of Negros Occidental is on heightened alert after the Department of Agriculture confirmed on Monday that hog samples taken from pig farms in Luzon have tested positive for African swine fever.

PVO head Dr. Renante Decena said contingency plans are prepared to prevent the virus from entering the province.

Decena said they are presently waiting for the official order from the central office of the Department of Agriculture on how they should regulate hog shipments coming from Luzon.

He also said that the province is well-prepared even before Agriculture Secretary William Dar made the announcement, with the local African Swine Fever Task Force regularly visiting local meat processing plants, supermarkets, and ports.

Meanwhile, Decena said all hogs ordered from Luzon will temporarily be barred from entering the province and he has asked the cooperation of local hog farmers.

The Department of Agriculture assured the public that the price of pork products will not increase amid the swine fever fears.

Earlier, Agriculture Secretary William Dar confirmed that 14 of the 20 blood samples taken from pigs in the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal, have tested positive for the African swine fever.

Dar suspects the virus originated from the leftover food coming from hotels and restaurants, and later given to pig farms as hog feeds.

(Photo Courtesy of stock.adobe.com)