QC culls pigs, adds checkpoints to help contain African swine fever

MANILA, Philippines – After 11 pigs from Barangay Bagong Silangan tested positive for African swine fever (ASF), Quezon City prioritized the containment of the virus through culling pigs and stationing more checkpoints within 1 kilometer of the two ground zeros, Oriole Extension and Area 5.

In a statement released on Sunday, September 15, the city government said it requested help from the Quezon City Police Department in adding these checkpoints.

Hogs within 1 kilometer of the two infected zones were automatically culled following standard protocols for preventing the spread of the disease to nearby areas.

The culling of pigs from illegal backyard raisers in Barangay Bagong Silangan also began on September 15. Around 50 pigs were culled that afternoon.

Meanwhile, the City Veterinary Office aimed to intensify its monitoring of slaughterhouses as well as major public markets in Commonwealth, Balintawak, Cubao, and Novaliches to prevent the entry of ASF-infected meat and double dead meat or "Bocha."

The city government is also taking inventory of the piggeries in the locality, strict monitoring for compliance with existing protocols and procedures.

Prior to the outbreak of ASF in the city, the local government had already begun to gradually phase out piggeries in line with its land use plan that does not allow for any agricultural zones.

Affected piggery owners would receive financial aid and livelihood assistance. The city government also plans to educate these owners about ASF and its prevention. (FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)

The Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of ASF in several areas of the country, particularly in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan, last Monday, September 9, 

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect pigs, warthogs, and boars, but does not pose a threat to humans. – with reports from Loreben Tuquero/Rappler.com