African Swine Fever hits Nueva Ecija, Cavite

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Agriculture Secretary William Dar has confirmed that the African Swine Fever has reached two new areas in Luzon.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18) — African Swine Fever has reached several areas in Nueva Ecija and Cavite, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Friday.

Dar confirmed cases of the swine fever in two new areas in Luzon. This he did at the sidelines of a meeting of Cabinet members with Indian businessmen who came with their President Ram Nath Kovind's state visit to Manila this week. His spokesman said a barangay in Palayan City in Nueva Ecija and in Dasmariñas, Cavite were affected.

The Department of Agriculture previously confirmed cases of the hog disease in Rodriguez and Antipolo in Rizal; Guiguinto, Bulacan; and five barangays in Quezon City. One barangay in Mapandan, Pangasinan has also reported cases of pig deaths caused by swine fever, according to the local government.

While the swine fever does not affect humans, they can be carriers of the virus that causes swift death to infected pigs.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said separately that the swine fever cases in Dasmariñas were confirmed in Barangays Emmanuel Bergado and Salawag, where 21 pigs died due to the disease. He said the disease might have spread through swill feeding (kaning baboy), which could have been contaminated.

"Those who used commercial feeds, hindi sila naapektuhan [they were not affected]," Remulla told reporters.

Dar said authorities will properly talk with local officials and implement the 1-7-10 protocol. All hogs within a one-kilometer radius will be burned and buried. Pig pens within the seven-kilometer radius will be placed under quarantine to prevent possibly affected hogs from being transported elsewherem while those within 10 kilometers are under close monitoring.

The ASF scare, which started in early September, has prompted cities and provinces to bar entry of live hogs and pork products from ASF-hit areas.

LOOK: A timeline of African Swine Fever in the PH

READ: DBM releases ₱82.5M for meat inspection, monitoring of African Swine Fever

All of Luzon has been put under close monitoring following the reported cases of the disease in its provinces. However, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered mayors and governors to lift the ban they imposed on processed meat products amid the swine fever scare.

Similar to the request of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Año emphasized that processed pork are good for sale nationwide as long as these products have proper certifications from the government. The Department of Agriculture and the National Meat Inspection Service check if the meat products are cooked at high temperatures, where the swine fever virus cannot thrive.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier reported that manufacturers of pork products are now slashing production amid fears that they could not bring their goods to select markets. Benguet, Cebu, Bohol, Negros Occidental, and Pampanga are among the provinces which have banned the entry of live hogs and even pork products shipped from areas affected by the swine fever. Meanwhile, a conditional ban is in place in other local government units.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Sandra Zialcita contributed to this report.