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According to a recent report from Reuters, the Agricultural chief of the Philippines announced Monday 9th September that Philippines farmed pigs have tested positive for African swine fever (ASF). This is the first detected outbreak of the virus in what is the world's 10th largest pork consumer.

In August the Agricultural Secretary William Dar requested that 20 samples be sent to the UK for testing following an unusual of pig deaths in back yard farms Rizal province, near the Philippine capital of Manila. In a recent briefing Mr Dar confirmed that 14 of the 20 samples test positive for ASF.

The Philippines has banned pork and pork-based products from more than 12 countries, including China, the world's biggest pork consumer where ASF has had a devastating impact with reports suggesting that the country's pig population reduced as much as one third.

Agriculture officials in the Philippines have reminded the public that they should not avoid consuming pork products, they are safe when they have passed through the proper process of slaughtering and preparation.

Officials believe they have managed the issue, stating that all hogs must be validated and asses by a veterinarian who will issue a medical certificate. Once slaughtered all pork meat will be stamped with a seal from the government's National Meat Inspection Service.

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