ORMOC CITY – The African Swine Fever (ASF) is finally in this city.
This, after city veterinarian, Dr. Joseph Cortez confirmed on June 23, 2021, Wednesday, the first case of the ASF in Sitio Kalipasan, Barangay Salvacion this city.
During a Facebook live interview with Dr. Cortez, he verified that in the afternoon of the said date, results of the laboratory tests that were sent to the regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) last June 12, 2021 have already been released and came out positive for the ASF.
Thus, that same day, following said interview, a total of 137 pigs were depopulated from the two piggery farms within the 500-meter radius of the piggery where the confirmed ASF case could be found.
According to Nora Sabillo, 57 years old, one of the owners of the ASF-infected piggery, on Sunday, June 20, 2021, she found her hogs having ASF signs and symptoms already such as skin discoloration, high fever with cough, vomiting of blood and lack of physical strength and energy. Then two days after, she continued, two of the hogs died; and now all of her hogs have been ‘disposed of’ so as to prevent a possible spread of the ASF.
She is saddened of what happened but could not do anything about it already, saying she will just find another source or means of livelihood. “Maayo naman lang unta ni maka puno-puno sa income (referring to her hogs). Magmanok na lang usa ko for the meantime or ug wala gyud e-dispose ko na lang ni na area, wala man gyud ko magdahom na mahitabo ni,” added Sabillo.
The following day, DA-8 Regional Director Angel C. Enriquez together with his team visited the said area and had an emergency meeting with Ormoc City Mayor Richard I. Gomez along with the local ASF Task Force team to update them of the nation’s ASF Prevention Program and the possible LGU assistance to be received from the national government. “Ayaw kabalaka Mayor, you have our full commitment to help,” Dir. Enriquez emphasized during the said meeting, promising all the support needed by the local government of Ormoc. The RD further reminded that while their investigation is ongoing, biosafety is now required of piggeries such as disinfecting before and after going inside piggery farms, to avoid swill feeding, to ban pork imports into the city, and for piggery farm owners to immediately report to authorities or submit laboratory samples if symptoms persist among their hogs. By Mary Ann Reusora