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ASF threat waning – DA exec

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — The threat of African swine fever (ASF) is waning, according to an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In his speech at the 9th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress held at Negros Residences in this city, DA Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan, however, said it remains a challenge for the government to contain the spread of ASF until a vaccine against the swine disease is developed in the country.

To address the anticipated shortage of pork during the holiday season, Ampatuan stressed the need to enhance swine production in areas which remain ASF-free.

He said importation would also address the expected surge in the demand for pork.

Negros Occidental provincial veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana said hog mortalities were recently reported in La Castellana and Hinobaan towns.

Negros Occidental, which has a P6-billion swine industry, has recorded 18,000 hog mortalities since April this year, with losses estimated at P200 million.