Culling of Ebola-infected Pigs Comes to an End

PHILIPPINES - The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) on Saturday started disinfecting a hog farm in Pandi town, Bulacan province, after completing the culling of more than 6,000 pigs infected with the Ebola Reston virus.
calendar icon 9 March 2009
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BAI Director Davino Catbagan said a total of 6,210 infected pigs were culled in the six operational days, which started last Sunday. The depopulation in the Pandi farm was declared complete at 8:15 p.m. Friday, according to ABS-CBN News.

"Cleaning and disinfection of the farm premises will start Saturday," Mr Catbagan said, adding that the disinfection process will last for another week.

Officials said the hog farm's operation will resume three to six months after the disinfection.

Mr Catbagan said after the disinfection, the BAI and the Department of Health (DOH) will move to other farms around Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog to make sure pigs in the regions are also safe from the Ebola Reston virus.

After the Pandi hog farm, we will check other hog farms and backyard farms," he said.

Dr Eric Tayag, DOH spokesman and chief of the National Epidemiology Center, said the six hog farm workers in Pandi who have tested positive for the Ebola Reston virus would have to be closely monitored for the next 21 days.

Dr Tayag said the infected farm workers have been advised to regularly check their body temperatures during the monitoring. He said the farm workers remained healthy.

The DOH, meanwhile, advised that the government has not lifted the voluntary ban on the exporting of pork products to other countries.

It, however, clarified that it is still safe to eat pork.

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