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The first ASF case in years has been confirmed by the GenSan veterinary office.

On Thursday, the City Veterinary Office (CVO) verified one positive case of African swine fever (ASF) in a nearby community.

After several years of zero ASF cases in the city, Dr. Antonio Ephraim Marin, the CVO chief, stated the case originated from Purok San Lorenzo, Barangay Apopong.

Marin claimed that on January 24, he was contacted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) satellite laboratory in Barangay Lagao to confirm the case.

“The discovery was based on the results of a laboratory test on blood drawn from a backyard swine grower in the hamlet,” he explained.

Veterinary authorities in this country are working feverishly to prevent the spread of the ASF, which could endanger backyard pig farmers.

Residents in Purok San Lorenzo, Barangay Apopong, were startled by the deaths of multiple hogs that began in the backyard of Franco Magway, a buy-and-sell hog trader, on January 12.

According to reports, 508 hogs have been killed from the affected area since Tuesday.

The city has been enforcing a tight ban prohibiting the entry of live pigs and processed pork products.

The city’s hog business, worth PHP8 billion and employing more than 5,000 people, is the third-largest in the country.

The province of South Cotabato, as well as the city, have been designated as “dark green” zones, or sections of the country that are free of ASF.

The region is one of the country’s leading producers of live hogs, exporting at least 15,000 heads every two weeks to Metro Manila and Luzon.

The South Cotabato Swine Producers Association, the area’s largest collection of commercial swine farms, has a total sow population of 55,000 and produces more than 45,000 hogs per month.

Soccsksargen consumes around 10% of the group’s produce and sells the remaining 90% to markets in Luzon and the Visayas.

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