September 23, 2019 / 9:26 AM / 24 days ago

Philippines reports more African swine fever outbreaks

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines’ Department of Agriculture on Monday said it has detected more African swine fever outbreaks in the country, such as in a village in Antipolo, Rizal, east of the Philippine capital Manila, and some areas in central Luzon.

There are now 12 villages with backyard farms affected by the disease — two in Metro Manila and 10 in nearby Rizal and Bulacan provinces — excluding those central Luzon areas that Agriculture Secretary William Dar declined to identify.

The Philippines, the world’s 10th-largest pork consumer and seventh-biggest pork importer, declared its first outbreak of the virus on Sept. 9, with more reported in less than two weeks.

The deadly and highly contagious disease, for which there is no cure nor vaccine though it does not affect people, poses a big threat to the nation’s $5 billion hog industry, but Dar said there is no epidemic in the country.

Dar, meanwhile, appealed to local government executives not to restrict domestic food trade, after the provinces of Cebu and Bohol in central Philippines announced a ban on the entry of pork and pork-based products from those hot spots.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, editing by Louise Heavens

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