DAVAO CITY – The City Veterinarian’s Office (CVO) has imposed stricter measures to prevent the resurgence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the city after a pig butchered in the city’s slaughterhouse came positive for the infection.

In a statement Tuesday, Dr. Maria Corazon Sepulveda, assistant CVO surveillance team head, said a pig processed at the Maa slaughterhouse tested positive for ASF during a postmortem inspection on June 20.

The examination showed that the hog—traced to Banga, South Cotabato as the point of origin—was infected with the virus.

Sepulveda said the ASF-positive slaughtered animal was immediately disposed of as the hog was initially cleared during the antemortem inspection since the virus is difficult to detect in live animals.

“There is continuous cleaning and disinfection. We gave them disinfectant, so they can clean their area. And then there’s continuous surveillance and monitoring from our office,” she said.

Due to the highly contagious nature of the disease, Sepulveda said their office is currently conducting daily antemortem and postmortem inspections of hogs and hog carcasses across the city.

“Public markets and stockyards are also under strict surveillance and the city’s slaughterhouses, cold storage, and processing plants are closely monitored,” Sepulveda said.

Stockyards in Bankerohan public market are currently closed and will be under tight monitoring after a stockyard specimen from the area also tested positive for ASF.

Sepulveda said this prompted the office to cull all hogs in the establishment and to temporarily close all stockyards in the city.

“We need to conduct continuous monitoring in public markets and stockyards although the stockyards in the Bankerohan market are currently shut down,” she said.

As a result, CVO has also tightened border inspection of hogs coming into the city.

Sepulveda said farmers with commercial hogs coming from areas that have declared ASF outbreaks and from areas that have not been flagged must acquire an animal inspection certificate and an ASF-free certificate from the Department of Agriculture.

Non-commercial hogs or backyard hogs from outside the city are not allowed entry, he added.

Despite the incident, Sepulveda assured Dabawenyos that the reported ASF infection is an isolated case and that there is currently no outbreak of the virus in the city.

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of pigs and in its acute form, the disease generally results in high mortality. It is a different disease from swine flu as the virus does not affect people and there is no impact on human health. (PNA)