Depopulation of infected hogs completed.
THE depopulation of African Swine Fever(ASF)-infected hogs in 13 municipalities in the province of Camarines Sur which were affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) has been completed and no recurrence or no new ASF case has been reported.
This was reported yesterday by the Regional Quick Response Team (RQRT) for Animal Diseases and Emergencies organized by the Department of Agriculture Bicol as it plans to declare the previously affected municipalities as ASF-free.
Dr. Edgar R. Madrid, Regional Technical Director for Regulatory and Research and head of team, said the Guidelines on ASF–Free Status Declaration they drafted has already been approved by DA-Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla.
Tornilla issued a Memorandum Circular dated July 30, 2020 for the adoption and implementation of said guidelines.
Targeted for an ASF- free declaration are the previously ASF affected municipalities where depopulation has been completed and no recurrence or new reported case of ASF and has strictly complied with the prescribed protocol.
Per assessment of the RQRT based on validated field reports, laboratory tests results and other observation shared by all members of the composite team which include the Regional Quarantine Veterinary Officer of the BAI and the OIC-Director of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), the incidence rate in the province is now on a downtrend.
While the virus has not been totally eliminated, the occurrence of new cases has been on a diminishing rate. Positive sample cases peaked in the month of March where 24 cases were recorded.
By May, the incidence rate has gone down and interval has been sparse. A flattening of the slope indicating a more gradual rate of infection over a longer period of time is noted.
The ASF disease has been confined only within the neighboring 13 municipalities or their peripheries in the third and second district of Camarines Sur Province namely: Bombon, Calabanga, Magarao, Naga City, Minalabac, Canaman, Camaligan, Gainza, Cabusao, Pamplona, San Fernando and Milaor.
The reported case in Lagonoy and Goa turned negative in the second laboratory tests and no further case was reported in said municipalities.
The immediate conduct of depopulation undertaken by the local governmnt units (LGUs) concerned and the DA and BAI personnel and the fast release and immediate payment of indemnification to affected backyard owners by the DA has encouraged more farmers to cooperate and submit their hogs for depopulation.
To date a total of 12,437 heads of pig have been depopulated which were owned by 1,676 backyard pig owners.
They have been paid indemnification amounting to Php 44 million.
Moreover, the provision by the DA regional office of other assistance such as free range chicken and ducks to affected farmers who did not qualify for indemnification also eased their anxieties as they found an alternative livelihood thus, allowing time for their pig pens to be disinfected and break the cycle of the virus.
The strict implementation of border control through establishment of 22 checkpoints resulted in the 166 cases confiscation/condemnation of a total of 28,173.52 kilograms of meat and meat products; 107 cases of apprehensions and order to return to origin of a total of 30,194.44 kilograms of meat and meat products and 477 heads of animals both by the BAI and NMIS and LGU-PNP composite team with the support of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council.
These actions contributed in controlling the further spread of ASF to other Bicol provinces.
The Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory conducted aggressive surveillance activities with 301 field investigation conducted; 745 animals diagnosed, 668 blood samples and 73 organs collected and submitted for laboratory analysis. With these positive developments, the DA–Bicol is now preparing the way towards an ASF-free declaration and a road to recovery in the affected municipalities provided they comply with the requirements which include continuous clean-up, disinfection and 90-days rest period, restocking with sentinel pigs, repopulation and provision of assistance to affected backyard raisers.