MJ and pigs Vero Pig Farm

Abnormal swine deaths in Philippines

Abnormal swine deaths in backyard farms
The DA received an incident report on increased mortality of pigs raised by farmers in their backyards. Several diseases can be associated with clinical signs. Further confirmation is needed from a recognized foreign reference laboratory in Europe.

Pigs raised by farmers in their backyards

On August 16, 2019, the Department of Agriculture received an incident report from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) on any increased mortality of pigs raised by farmers in their backyards. The DA immediately ordered the investigation of affected farms and collection of blood samples.

Affected backyard swine farmers said their pigs showed loss of appetite, recumbency, vomiting, skin hemorrhages, dark discoloration in the extremities, and sudden death.

DA-BAI experts said several diseases can be associated with said clinical signs. BAI to conduct further confirmatory laboratory tests, including sending blood samples to foreign laboratories, to ascertain the cause of the animal’s death. Thus, further confirmation is needed from a recognized foreign reference laboratory in Europe. DA expects to receive the results at the earliest, in two weeks, or at the latest, three months.

DA Administrative Order No. 4

To ensure food safety and security, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar issued DA Administrative Order No. 4, on August 22, 2019, directing all Provincial and Municipality/City Veterinary and Agricultural Offices throughout the country to strictly enforce food safety measures and observe quarantine procedures.

As part of the quarantine procedures:

  • DA prohibits the transportation of live animals, meat products and by-products unless accompanied by a required Veterinary Health Certificate from a licensed veterinarian and a relevant shipping permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
  • Checkpoints have been ordered to be established in all entry and exit points of all provinces.
  • The AO also directs all veterinary and agricultural officers to immediately report to the BAI any unusual increase of cases in swine mortality, as well as if deemed necessary to educate swine farmers in carrying out Good Animal Husbandry Practices and observing biosecurity measures. These include the putting up of footbaths, regular disinfection of farms, vaccination and deworming.
  • Lastly, feeding of food wastes or swill is now discouraged. The food wastes could be sources of undetected disease-causing microorganisms.
  • In particular, to ensure food safety, animals brought to slaughterhouses will be checked by BAI personnel for fever and other signs of any disease. All animals diagnosed as with disease will be immediately condemned and disposed of by BAI following standard procedures.
  • As a guarantee of quality to the public, all meat and meat products must be accompanied by a meat inspection certificate (MIC) from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) or the local government unit. These certificates must be displayed in the stalls of meat vendors. Meat and meat-products that are NOT accompanied by an MIC will be considered as “hot meat” and will be confiscated, condemned and properly disposed of by BAI.
  • The AO also directs the continuous and strict monitoring by BAI personnel of NMIS Accredited Cold Storage Warehouses, all NMIS slaughterhouses, and all Locally Registered Meat Establishments.

Source: August 2019/ DA/ Philippines.

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