UPDATES ON AFRICAN SWINE FEVER
Friday, October 18, 2019, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
May M. Magno
National Veterinary Quarantine Services Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture
As with the rest of ASEAN Member Countries, the Philippines is presently facing a looming threat of potential incursion of African Swine Fever (ASF) due to sustaining and progressing disease outbreaks in China since its first reported case on August 3, 2018. The recent outbreaks of ASF in Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, North Korea, and Lao PDR represent a continual, growing threat for the pig industry in Asia, regardless of national borders. ASF is a highly transmissible and fatal disease of pigs with no available treatment worldwide. The environment resistant nature of ASF virus facilitates its spread through live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products; Moreover, transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and fomites (non-living objects) such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, etc.
The Department of Agriculture aims to maintain the country’s disease freedom by implementing disease preparedness activities to mitigate the identified risks to protect the PHP 263 Billion swine industry. Protecting this livelihood sector is important in ensuring food security. Among the strategies is the intensive protection of the borders by banning the import of meat products from ASF affected countries, confiscation of unauthorized meat products from international flights and the installation of footbaths with disinfectants at major airports and seaports. The international ports (airports and seaports) can serve as the gateway for the entry of disease-causing organisms through unwashed or contaminated footwear and can pose a very real risk for the introduction of serious human and animal diseases. Thus, these points of entry are considered an important specific area of controls.