BLOOD SAMPLES. Personnel of the Office of the City Veterinarian and Bureau of Animal Industry conduct surveillance through the collection of blood samples in areas hit by African swine fever in Zamboanga City. The surveillance began Monday (Nov. 21, 2022) and will end on Saturday (Nov. 26, 2022). (Photo courtesy of Zamboanga CIO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) are conducting surveillance in areas hit by African swine fever (ASF) here.

Dr. Mario Arriola, OCVet chief, said Tuesday the surveillance is carried out through the collection of blood samples as a move to downgrade the city’s ASF status from red to pink zone.

Arriola said the collection of blood samples, which started Monday and ends Saturday, is led by the BAI's National African Swine Fever Prevention and Control Program in collaboration with his personnel.

“The blood samples will be subjected to laboratory tests. Once results come out negative, the area will be eligible for the placement of sentinel pig for 40 days,” he said. “If the pigs survive the 40-day stage, the area will be declared cleared and eligible for the pink status declaration.”

Backed by a massive information drive, the target of the surveillance are farmers within the 1-km. quarantine zone, specifically in the ASF-hit villages of Lumbangan; Mercedes; Dulian, Bunguiao; Manicahan, Vitali, Mangusu, Curuan, Calabasa, Talisayan, Lanzones, and Talabaan.

OCVet data showed that 4,646 hog mortalities due to ASF were recorded in this city.

Culled hogs totaled 1,080 from 1,093 hog raisers affected by the ASF infection. (PNA)