ASF now reaches Koronadal City

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY — At least 11 of 42 hogs from Davao del Sur that were culled in nearby Koronadal City last Tuesday due to suspected infection with the African Swine Fever (ASF) have turned out positive of the disease, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Friday.

Dar, who visited the area on Friday morning, said 11 of the blood samples taken from the animals purchased by a local businessman in Sulop, Davao del Sur last week showed traces of the ASF virus based on validated laboratory test results.

The tests were initially conducted at the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory based in this city and was validated by the Bureau of Animal Industry’s central office laboratory.

Dar said the contaminated hogs were traced to have come from Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental, where the first ASF outbreak in Mindanao was confirmed by DA last Jan. 31.

The hogs were reportedly purchased by traders from Sulop and eventually sold to the businessman from Koronadal City, he said.

But Dar said the disease was already contained after the city government of Koronadal ordered the immediately culling of the affected hogs last Tuesday.

He said the blood samples taken from animals that had made contact with the culled hogs have been found negative of ASF.

Dr. Charlemagne Calo, head of the Koronadal City Veterinary Office, said their monitoring showed that the disease has not spread to other hogs in areas adjacent to the stockyard where the 42 culled animals were previously kept.

Calo noted that the stockyard was surrounded by a high concrete fence and was immediately disinfected after the culling of the animals.   

“All the animals were buried properly. We’re now focused on monitoring and preventing the entry of other possible infected hogs,” he said.

The infected animals were brought in by a local businessman last Jan. 29 based on the shipping permit issued by the municipal government of Sulop.

Its owner was alarmed after recording a fatality upon arrival and then another animal succumbed the following day. It was referred to the South Cotabato Veterinary Office and the city government, which ordered the immediate culling.-PNA

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