NEARLY 300,000 pigs have been culled as a precaution against African Swine Fever (ASF), according to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

In a virtual briefing Thursday, BAI Director Ronnie D. Domingo said that as of June 18, 298,844 pigs across 25 provinces and eight regions were culled since the declaration of the outbreak last year.

Mr. Domingo said that most of the confirmed ASF cases are in Luzon, home to 22 of the 25 affected provinces, which include Metro Manila.

Pigs were culled in Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Rizal, Camarines Sur, Bataan, Quezon Province, Cavite, Metro Manila, Tarlac, Batangas, Isabela, Aurora, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Zambales, Nueva Vizcaya, Cagayan, Laguna, and Quirino.

ASF cases were also reported in Davao Occidental, Davao City, and Davao del Sur.

Despite the rising number of culled pigs, Mr. Domingo downplayed any concern, adding that the cull is equivalent to around 3% of the total hog population.

“Since the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine in March, ASF cases dropped to 20 cases for every one million pigs,” Mr. Domingo said.

The Department of Agriculture has said it will allocate P400 million to support hog raisers affected by the ASF outbreak.

The P400 million will include the supply of piglets to kick-start the restocking of the hog population. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave