The Philippines Department of Agriculture and other related agencies will “reevaluate” the country’s African swine fever (ASF) control and prevention measures as the disease continues to impact the industry across the country. According to local media, officials say the protocols aren’t working.
As of March 2023, the Department of Agriculture data shows 11 regions, 21 provinces, 54 municipalities and 137 barangays (similar to an inner city neighborhood or suburb) still have active ASF cases throughout the Philippines, ABS-CBN News reports. A total of 4,418 barangays have been affected by the deadly virus of pigs as of March.
“We have to reevaluate how we do our ASF control and prevention… So we will have a meeting anytime soon to talk about this prevention and control, among other things. And what should we do more because apparently, something is wrong,” explained DA National Livestock Program Director and International Training Center on Pig Husbandry Director Ruth Miclat-Sonaco in an ABS-CBN article.
The National Federation of Hog Farmers points out that smuggled pork could be carriers of ASF. Because of this, it’s critical to intensify biosecurity in farms to help prevent the disease.
More efforts will be made to educate people, especially farmers, about the benefits of biosecurity. Some hog producers have been concerned about repopulating their herds after an outbreak due to the ongoing risk of ASF.
The most recent Department of Agriculture estimates show a potential shortage of 81 million metric tons of pork this year. To date, 38,658 metric tons of pork have been imported, mainly coming from the U.S. and Canada, the article said.
Other ideas shared to help the pork crisis include other “economically viable” options besides culling to preserve the inventory, establishing a “pork academy” to be a platform to share best practices, and further modernization of the hog industry.
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