More dead pigs tested for swine fever, this time in Quezon City

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) – More dead pigs are being tested for African Swine Fever (ASF), this time in Quezon City, local officials said on Thursday.

Three dead pigs whose remains were "discolored, bloated and almost rotten" were found at a stretch of a creek along Lingayen Street, Barangay Bagong Silangan, where a lot of residents are backyard pig raisers, Henry Barbero from the Quezon City Veterinarian Department said in a report.

Their blood samples were sent, through the Bureau of Animal Industry, to a laboratory in the United Kingdom, the same facility which earlier confirmed the first case of the viral disease in the Philippines, Barbero said.

The city's veterinary department also said it had disposed the dead hogs' bodies by burning them.

Authorities are awaiting confirmatory laboratory test results which may take from a day to a week.

Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier ordered a shutdown on backyard piggeries late August, following reports that several pigs in some Luzon towns have been affected by ASF.

Most of the pig blood samples sent weeks ago to a laboratory in the United Kingdom tested positive for the swine fever, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Monday. Dar also said it is verifying reports of possible ASF cases in other areas, but did not give details. He added that almost 7,500 pigs have been culled so far.

A day after, an agriculture official said that the swine fever in two Rodriguez, Rizal, and Guiguinto, Bulacan, is under control. DA Spokesman Noel Reyes also said that despite the recorded significant pig deaths, there is enough supply of in the country even if some pork sales have gone down.

Meanwhile, authorities have also ordered a pullout and imposed a ban on processed pork products from 16 ASF-affected countries, including China, Vietnam and Cambodia, months before the significant rise in pig deaths was recorded.

ASF was first detected in Siberia in 2018, according to the United Nations. It only affects pigs, but humans can carry the disease and spread it locally. A virus quickly spreads in an affected hog, which could lead to death after three to five days.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Carolyn Bonquin contributed to this report.