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Photo downloaded from public website.

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) yesterday assured Mindanao Hog Raisers of its support in conducting a field trial for a vaccine for the dreaded African Swine Fever developed in Vietnam which would be available by the Second Quarter of this year.

Eduardo So, president of the Mindanao Hog Raisers Association, yesterday sought MinDA's help in facilitating access for the vaccine for the swine virus which had virtually decimated the backyard hog population in the Philippines.

The ASF, a deadly disease which was reported to have first affected hogs near the dumpsite in Montalban, Rizal in mid-2019, has unabatedly spread all over the country, including several provinces of Mindanao, severely affecting the hog industry, especially the backyard farms.

While the ASF does not pose threats to human health, it was considered a major blow to the hog industry because of the absence of a Vaccine.

Affected hogs usually die within 48 hours after contagion and the only remedy implemented was to cull the affected hog population and enforce quarantine protocols.

The uncontrolled spread of the ASF all over the country has caused the meteoric rise of prices of live hogs and pork in the market reaching historic high levels of P220 per kilo live and over P400 per kilo for meat in the market.

During my conversation with So yesterday, he several member farms of the Mindanao Hog Raisers Association have expressed willingness to conduct the field trials prior to the approval by the Food and Drug Administration and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of its use in the country.

The Mindanao ASF Task Force which was organized by MinDA in 2019 composed of Mindanao Hog Industry stakeholders will initiate the move to gain access to the Vietnam ASF Vaccine.

Several veterinary supply companies in the Philippines have expressed willingness to acquire the ASF Vaccine to help the country's hog industry to recover and bring down the prices of pork for the consumers.

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