The Department of Agriculture (DA) described recent newspaper reporting that a big number all African Swine Fever (ASF) deaths across the globe come from the Philippines as “grossly misleading, malicious and irresponsible”.

Citing as source the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar noted that ASF global deaths numbered 2,530,969 from the time the hog disease first appeared in Kenya in 1921.

Meanwhile, ASF deaths in the country reached 7,416 as of August 31, 2019, or roughly three deaths for every 1,000 pigs which died globally.

Out of the total 12.7 million pigs as of July 2019, it means six deaths for every 10,000 pigs, per data from the Philippine Statistics Authority,

Dar stressed that misleading news scare the general public especially pork consumers and cause unfavourable impact on the country’s ₱260-billion swine industry, especially the small backyard pig raisers.

The agriculture secretary gave assurances that the DA, other government agencies and even the private sector are exerting efforts to effectively manage and contain the dangerous effect of ASF.

Dar assured the public that consuming pork from hog raised in ASF free areas in the country is safe. “We continue to remind that local pork, provided NMIS-certified, is safe to eat.” (Jojo Mangahis)