MANILA (Reuters) – Dead pigs found in some backyard farms in the Philippines tested positive for African swine fever, the country’s agriculture chief said on Monday, the first outbreak of the virus detected in the Southeast Asian country.
The announcement was based on the results of laboratory tests requested by Agriculture Secretary William Dar after reports last month of an unusual number of pig deaths in backyard farms.
The Philippines is now the latest Asian nation to be hit by African swine fever despite efforts to protect its $5 billion hog industry that included a ban on pork imports.
“Out of the 20 blood samples (sent to the United Kingdom for testing), 14 are positive with African swine fever,” he said in a media briefing.
Dar said further tests were needed to determine how virulent is the strain found in local hogs. There is no cure or vaccine for the deadly and highly contagious disease, which does not affect people.
As of July 1, the Philippine swine herd was…
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