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To protect hog industry, solon wants African swine fever outbreak probed

DA: African swine fever in PH; pork safe

ASSURANCE Agriculture Secretary William Dar (left photo) breaks the news on African swine fever in the Philippines,which has prompted the culling of pigs in affected farms outside Metro Manila. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — A party-list lawmaker is calling for a House investigation into the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in several areas in Rizal and Bulacan.

Magsasaka Rep. Argel Cabatbat has filed House Resolution No. 336, which orders the House agriculture and food committee to look into the spread of ASF in the country.

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He said the move would protect not only the local consumers but also assess its impact on the local hog industry,

“It is the responsibility of the government to take all necessary actions to protect the livelihood of our hog raisers and the hog industry as a while,” Cabatbat said in a statement.

On Monday, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said that ASF cases in several areas in Rizal and Bulacan “may be considered an outbreak but not an epidemic.”

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that ASF has already been contained in Barangay Pritil in Guiguinto, Bulacan; and in several barangays in the towns of Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo, in Rizal province.

READ: DA: ASF in Bulacan, Rizal areas ‘may be an outbreak but not an epidemic’

It was also reported that dead hogs were found awash in the Marikina River, a creek in Bagong Silangan, Quezon City and in an irrigation canal in Malolos, Bulacan.

READ: More dead pigs found, this time in Marikina City

While the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) assured the public that ASF was not considered a serious health threat, Cabatbat noted that humans may still become carriers of the virus.

“The virus can also survive even if the meat has been processed or canned,” he said./ac

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