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Philippines Confirms African Swine Fever, Culls 7,000 Pigs
USAgNet - 09/10/2019

Lab tests have confirmed that African swine fever caused the deaths of pig herds in at least seven villages near Manila and a multiagency body will be set up to ensure the highly contagious disease does not spread further, Philippine officials said Monday.

According to the Associated Press, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said 14 of 20 blood samples sent to a British lab tested positive for the disease but further tests were needed to ascertain the virulence of the virus.

Infections in affected villages have been contained in recent weeks, and backyard farms hit by the virus and outlying areas have been placed under quarantine and disinfected to prevent recurrences, Dar and other agriculture officials said.

More than 7,400 pigs have been culled in farms in villages in Rizal and Bulacan provinces that were feared to have been hit by the viral infection in recent months. The Department of Agriculture is verifying reports of new infections in other areas, Dar said, but he refused to identify the areas.

Despite confirmation of the infections, officials say authorities are in control of the problem and will further tighten checks, including in airports and seaports, and crack down on smuggling of imported meat to prevent largescale outbreaks. They said pork supplies and prices will remain normal, reports the AP.

China is home to half the world's pig population. In Vietnam alone, the virus has caused the deaths of more than 4 million pigs.

African swine fever is harmless to people but fatal and highly contagious for pigs, with no known cure, causing severe losses in the swine industry. The disease has been reported in China, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Laos and North Korea.

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