MANILA (Reuters) – Dead pigs found in some backyard farms in the Philippines tested positive for the African swine fever virus, the country’s agriculture chief said on Monday, the first outbreak of the disease detected in the Southeast Asian country.
The announcement was based on the results of laboratory tests that Agriculture Secretary William Dar had sought after receiving reports last month of an unusual number of pig deaths in backyard farms in unidentified areas.
“Out of the 20 blood samples (sent to the United Kingdom for testing), 14 are positive with African swine fever,” he said in media briefing.
The Philippines became the latest Asian nation to be hit by African swine fever, a highly contagious and disease for pigs for which there is no cure and no vaccine, despite safeguards to protect its $ 5 billion hog industry, including a ban on pork imports.
Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; editing by Christian Schmollinger