By Joseph B.A. Marzan
It’s finally here.
Iloilo City confirmed its first African Swine Fever (ASF) case on Thursday, November 24, in the place where the suspected case was first identified.
In a press release, the Iloilo City government stated that it received confirmation from the Department of Agriculture that from the 17 samples collected from backyard raisers’ hogs at Zone 5, Brgy. Tacas in Jaro district, one was confirmed for ASF.
The city government added that following receipt of the information, they have reaffirmed the 500-meter radius from the backyard farm where the hog deaths, and subsequently the first ASF case (or what they call the “ground zero”) were first reported.
Their data as of this writing indicated that there are only 4 hog heads within this radius, including one sow and 3 piglets.
City Mayor Jerry Treñas said they will be coordinating with officials of affected barangays on depopulation strategies, and that they are considering financial assistance to affected owners.
Given that the city’s present slaughterhouse is also near the area, the city government assured the public that the facility is regularly being disinfected, with live hogs being slaughtered upon their arrival.
Hogs, pork, and pork products from ASF-affected areas are prohibited from the city’s public markets.
Treñas also called on the public, particularly backyard hog owners, to report deaths to the city government for proper processing, and to avoid improper dumping of dead hogs, especially in the city’s waterways.
The City Veterinary Office previously received reports of suspected dead hogs thrown into the Dungon Creek but it could not verify the information after its investigation.
“We will depopulate all hogs within the 500-meter radius and will be buried properly so that ASF will not spread to other parts of the city. Any dead pig should be reported right away, and should not be thrown in our waterways,” Treñas said in a video statement published on the city government’s Facebook page.
Daily Guardian has reached out to Treñas to confirm whether some areas in neighboring Pavia town were covered by the 500-meter radius, since the backyard farm’s location was close to the city.
The city’s first confirmed ASF case follows that of the neighboring towns in the province, including Oton, San Miguel, Alimodian, Leganes, Santa Barbara, New Lucena, and Mina.
The Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office added New Lucena and Mina to the list of affected areas last week.