Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Friday that the dead pigs found in Marikina River and Quezon City creek caused fears that African swine fever (ASF) is spreading.
40 dead pigs were found in Marikina on Thursday evening, and six more were found in a creek in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City.
Source Still Unidentified
Representatives from the Bureau of Animal Industry and the city veterinary office in Marikina immediately buried the carcasses, as many of them were already in the advanced stage of decomposition, said City Veterinarian Dr. Bobot Carlos.
Furthermore, Quezon City Veterinarian Dr. Ana Maria Cabel said the pigs could not have come from the same community since residents denied owning sick or dying pigs days prior to the incident.
Hence, tissue samples were taken from the pigs before the burial and an ongoing investigation is now in process to determine where the pigs came from.
Possibly from Rizal
On the other hand, Dar said the pigs could have come from the upstream towns of Rizal that first tested positive for ASF.
“Ang problema sa mga initial affected areas, sila ‘yung nagkakalat ngayon. Makicooperate po tayo. We are spreading the virus and this is what is happening now, dumping of pigs,” he said.
ASF Not a Threat to Humans
ASF does not pose any health risk to humans but causes high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages, and death among domestic and wild pigs.
According to the Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ronnie Domingo, the virus does not survive for long in the water but the possibility of contamination can’t be disregarded.
To recall, seven areas in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan were initially identified to be affected with ASF by the Department of Agriculture.
Dar promised to allot funds for hog raisers affected by the ASF problem. The loanable amount can be up to P30,000 with zero interest and is payable in three years.