Philippines: Still-unknown disease prompts culling of pigs


MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippine agriculture chief says an unspecified number of pigs has died or been culled in backyard farms in recent weeks and a crisis team has been established to try to contain the still unspecified disease causing the swine deaths.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Monday that the Bureau of Animal Industry has been carrying out laboratory tests on blood samples of affected pigs and arranging similar tests in foreign labs to identify the disease after a spike in pig deaths. Dar couldn’t immediately say if the cause was the contagious African swine fever that has led to the deaths and culling of millions of pigs in Asia.

Dar refused to identify the affected area or province and disclose the number of pig deaths while containment efforts were underway.