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Zamboanga City eyes ASF-free status

The Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) is eyeing the declaration of this city as African swine fever (ASF)-free, noting the absence of cases here for the past nine months. Dr. Mario Arriola, OCVet chief, said Wednesday that such a declaration will be based on blood samples collected from sentinel pigs deployed in ASF-affected villages to determine if the animal disease no longer exists here. Arriola said a total of 87 sentinel pig blood samples were taken in three veterinary districts with ASF-affected barangays. He noted that no new ASF cases have been recorded in the city since September 2022. ‘Once the sentinel pigs’ blood samples will test negative for ASF, only then can the Department of Agriculture (DA) declare the city as ASF-free,’ he said. He said the ongoing test for the sentinel pigs’ blood samples this week is the second since January this year. The initial blood sampling and surveillance conducted by the DA earlier this year yielded negative results. Recently, the DA has distributed around 130 sentinel pigs to the ASF-hit barangays and all have survived. From January to August last year, a total of 4,655 hogs died while 1,122 were culled due to the ASF infection here

Source: Philippines News Agency