African Swine Fever vaccine
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) has begun initial vaccine trials in areas previously affected by African Swine Fever (ASF).
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the trials commenced on April 23 with 10 commercial swine farms participating.
The project is in collaboration with a US vaccine company and Zoetis, a global animal health company.
Zoetis is the major collaborator of the experimental new vaccine for ASF which has prevented the virus from killing pigs in early trials in other countries.
The ASF vaccine trials will be conducted and monitored by the DA-BAI personnel and veterinarians for 84 days.
Such procedures are in line with the current protocols set by the government technical working group, the vaccine manufacturer and Zoetis Philippines, Inc.
The Agriculture chief said they are currently coordinating with the provincial veterinarians on the conduct of the vaccine trials to ensure successful implementation.
He assured that all BAI veterinarians underwent orientation and are ready for deployment.
The DA chief added that the trials in participating farms will depend on the agreement by the concerned parties, the availability of trial animals, schedule of the farm and BAI veterinarian and Zoetis representatives.
Secretary Dar is hopeful that the vaccine trials will yield positive results and finally eradicate the disease that has caused significant impact on the country’s hog industry and loss of income for local hog raisers.
The disease also reduced hog population and supply which pushed pork prices up to the disadvantage of consumers.
“The vaccine trials complement our ongoing ‘Bantay ASF sa Barangay’ program. We consider it as the proverbial ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ that would free us from this dark episode that adversely affected our swine industry, pork supply and prices,” Secretary Dar said.
“Once proven effective, the ASF vaccine will serve as a potent tool, complementing our joint efforts with the LGUs, private sector, and hog raisers to effectively control, contain and manage the spread of the ASF, thus paving way for the industry’s faster recovery,” he said.