PROTECTION. A farmer sprays pesticides on rice plants in a paddy in Santo Tomas, Peñaranda in Nueva Ecija on Wednesday (June 29, 2022). The farmer said newly planted rice seedlings are expected to be harvested in September.(MNS photo)

MANILA, June 30 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed Wednesday they are seeing a positive result in the vaccine trial against the African swine fever (ASF).

In a press conference, DA-Bureau of Animal Industry Director Reildrin Morales said they hope to submit the initial report within the day.

“Ongoing ‘yung Phase 2 with Robina Farms and we’re seeing good results, na inexpect natin (as what we’ve been expecting) so hopefully ma-hand-over natin ‘yung (to handover the) report within the day, ‘yung (the) interim report,” he said.

The DA earlier said the results of the second trial are expected to be released this month.

Moreover, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said once the report is done, he would include the mass vaccination of hogs against ASF in the recommendations for President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“I have said before ‘pag maganda po ‘yung results nitong testing natin ng bakuna, ay (if the result of this vaccine trial is good) this will be one of those highly recommended for the president-elect and the secretary of the Agriculture to subsidize the vaccination of the hog inventory today,” he said.

Morales, however, noted the ASF cases in the country have “flared up” from 12 to over 60 barangays. Then as of June 23, there are 36 barangays with active cases of ASF.

He said strict surveillance is being implemented in the area.

The DA added that the repopulation program and insurance for hog raisers are continually pursued.

Meanwhile, Morales also confirmed yet another threat to the poultry sector, as they move to combat the reported detection of inclusion body hepatitis (IBH).

He said this explains their approval for the special importation of vaccines against the certain strain of IBH being monitored.

“We had the series of meetings with the technical or association of poultry sector, at kasama rin natin diyan, ‘yung mga producers (we are also with the producers) and there are data that shows we have concerns with IBH (Inclusion body hepatitis), and to support ‘yung ating industriya (the industry), the DA-BAI allowed the special importation of vaccines… Ang isang grupo ay ipinakita doon sa kanilang result na ‘yung available vaccine na mayroon tayo sa kasalukuyan (A group showed in their report that the available vaccine), is not actually the one that is, that would cater to the strain that is present,” he said.

Morales did not give initial figures, but described the IBH as one that is “liken into avian influenza, something caused by a virus, impacting growth, fatal yet non-transmissible to humans, and is actually a farm concern.”

“‘Yung sakit po na ito (This disease) is caused by a virus. It impacts ‘yung growth. Of course, it causes mortality sa poultry. Hindi po ito nakakahawa sa tao (This is not infectious to people). This is actually a farm concern. We already have this before, but not at this level,” he said. (MNS)

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