Almost 50 pig carcasses were seen floating along Marikina River on Thursday and were immediately buried upon retrieval, according to the Marikina City Veterinary Office.
In a statement, Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro clarified that there are no slaughterhouses or piggery in their city, adding that the carcasses could have been from the upstream of Rizal. He noted that since 2003, the city has been prohibiting backyard hog raising.
[LOOK] Bilang ng mga inanod at natagpuang palutang-lutang na patay na baboy sa Marikina River, umabot na sa 40, ayon sa Marikina Public Information Office | @dzrhnews
📸: Marikina PIO pic.twitter.com/hCH3qn0oG7
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Teodoro said that the local government already asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to investigate the incident. He added that they are also in talks with the Rizal Provincial Government over the dead pigs carried away in their city.
According to reports, the first dead pig was found in the Marikina River near the “Marikit” statue around 8 AM, Thursday. It was then followed by other carcasses who were found trapped in floating garbages at the river while being carried away by the current.
The agency said the swine remains were retrieved in three barangays. 10 were found in Barangay Nangka; 24 dead pigs in Barangay Kalumpang, and two in Barangay Tumana.
Earlier this month, DA confirmed that dead pigs found in some backyard farms in the country tested positive for African swine fever.
The announcement was based on the results of laboratory tests requested by Agriculture Secretary William Dar after reports last month of an unusual number of pig deaths in backyard farms.
“Out of the 20 blood samples (sent to the United Kingdom for testing), 14 are positive with African swine fever,” he said in a media briefing.
Dar said further tests were needed to determine how virulent is the strain found in local hogs. There is no cure or vaccine for the deadly and highly contagious disease, which does not affect people.
As of July 1, the Philippine swineherd was estimated at 12.7 million head, including about 8 million pigs in backyard farms and 4.7 million in commercial farms, according to government data.