The Cebu governor reiterates his opposition to killing pigs due to the ASF infection
Gwendolyn Garcia, the governor of Cebu, reaffirmed her earlier plea for the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to refrain from killing pigs that have been suspected of being infected with the African swine fever (ASF) virus on Monday.
Garcia stated during a news conference that if the agency kept up its culling policy for pigs that are located within a 500-meter radius, it would have a severe impact on the local supply of pork.
Garcia insisted that there is no ASF outbreak in Cebu given that only six out of the 53 communities in the island province have reported cases of the virus.
The governor made his statement when BAI reported on March 20 that they had discovered ASF in Carcar City, where the deadly virus affecting pigs was originally discovered on March 1, as well as Cebu City, the towns of Tuburan, Sibonga, Liloan, and Bogo City.
She said that if culling is pursued even in pigs that have not shown clinical signs of the viral disease, the provincial administration will make every effort to save the PHP11 billion local hog sector and safeguard consumers from the effects of a shortage of meat.
In exchange for imported meat, Garcia added, “you continue to kill these pigs, reduce our local supply, and, in effect, kill our local hog industry.”
The governor stated that she believed the pigs in Cebu had been exposed to a classical swine fever (CSF), noting that even though this disease is common in Asia, the anti-hog cholera vaccine can help avoid it.
The capitol’s legal representative, attorney Donato Villar Jr., claimed they traveled to Carcar City on Friday to collect sworn testimony from backyard hog farmers who are against the culling policy.
Villar cited an example in Carcar City where a former overseas Filipino worker invested his hard-earned money to acquire 10 sows and eventually proceeded to roughly 100 heads but all lost to culling as evidence that many pig farms in Cebu have become a source of income for the locals.
Garcia, meantime, sent a directive to mayors on Monday instructing them to establish the Barangay Swine Fever Task Force as a means of battling ASF in the communities. (
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