Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar on Saturday (September 14) disclosed that more areas have been placed under the government’s “1-7-10” quarantine protocol to prevent the spread of the African swine fever (ASF).
Dar, however, refused to identify these places to avoid complications while the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other concerned agencies are implementing the quarantine procedures.
The “1-7-10 Protocol” divides the types of quarantine procedures that the government is implementing according to distance from the suspected center of the contamination.
This means that authorities have placed areas within the 1-kilometer radius of affected farms under quarantine checkpoints. This is to effectively monitor the movement of live pigs, pork and pork products and check them for ASF contamination.
Areas within the 7-kilometer radius of affected farms, meanwhile, will see surveillance activities and limited animal movement.
Then, for the farms within the 10-kilometer radius, strict compliance to reporting of the ASF is mandated.
Dar, in an interview with radio station DZBB on Saturday, said: ”Nadagdagan pa po ‘yung mga lugar na under quarantine pero hindi muna namin puwedeng sabihin kung saan.”
He added: ”Meron po sa Central Luzon pero hindi pa po namin puwedeng sabihin para magawa natin ‘yung ground zero or ‘1-7-10’ protocol natin.”
Already reported as places with farms affected by ASF are Rodriguez and Antipolo in the Province of Rizal and Guiguinto in Bulacan.
Dar said a very critical component of the efforts to contain the spread of ASF and eventually erase it is the cooperation of the public, especially in reporting swine deaths.
Dar confirmed last September 9 that ASF was the cause of the death of pigs in Rizal and Bulacan. “If the strain here in the Philippines is highly virulent or not, it will also spell what are the measures we need to put in place.”
ASF causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs, and since there is no antidote or vaccine against it, the only known method to prevent the disease from spreading is a mass cull of affected livestock.
Around 8,000 pigs were already culled in Rizal and Bulacan.
Dar, however, said the ASF does not affect humans, so it is safe to eat pork products, as long as they are certified by the National Meat Inspection Service.
According to data from the DA, the Philippine swine industry is valued at P260 billion, with pork accounting for 60 percent of the country’s meat consumption.