CARGILL PHILIPPINES, Inc. recently launched a program that aims to protect pig farms from the effects of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

In a statement, the company said its Cargill 360° Protection is a solution consisting of products, programs, and services to mitigate the risk and spread of diseases in local farms and to boost the immunity of the herd in areas such as farm biosecurity, feed hygiene, enhanced immunity, and pig growing.

Cargill Philippines President Sonny Q. Catacutan said the company’s solution has been used in other countries such as Vietnam and China.

“From the environment to the feeds and animals, business and consumers, the Cargill 360° Protection works to protect all stages of swine business. Studies have been conducted by the Cargill research team, and an end-to-end solution like this would be our best bet in lieu of a vaccine,” he said.

Mr. Catacutan maintained that there is still no vaccine yet for ASF and insisted that the best defense that can be done is prevention.

“Over the past year since ASF was declared in the country, we’ve continuously been helping pig farmers who have been affected by the virus to restart their business, and educating those who are fortunate to have not been affected to remain safe,” he said.

Despite the ongoing spread of ASF in the country, Mr. Catacutan said there is still a way to let the local hog industry prosper.

“As long as we take the necessary precautionary measures and are aware of each other’s role in stopping its spread, we’re confident that the ASF can be effectively contained,” he said.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said that fighting the spread of ASF will take huge effort from all stakeholders such as the government, private sector, and pig owners.

Mr. Dar said that pig farm owners and hog breeders need to strengthen their biosecurity and herd immunity measures as ASF disrupts local pork supply, thus endangering businesses.

“We have to take this seriously because not only does it affect one of the largest industries in the country, but it also exploits a weakness inherent to Filipinos—we are such huge pork consumers that no part of a pig is spared,” Mr. Dar said.

“It’s through partnerships and collaborative efforts like this that will help alleviate the effects of the ASF,” he added.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), ASF is a hemorrhagic viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. 

Since being detected in 2019, more than 350,000 pigs have been culled in the Philippines as part of efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave