Advocacy Environment Food Health and Safety

Pig Raisers Urged to Ensure Safe Disposal of Dead Animals

17 September 2019, Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition has joined national and local government officials in appealing to backyard hog raisers not to dispose of dead pigs in creeks and rivers to prevent contamination of water with pathogenic bacteria.

Reacting to the discovery of dead pigs floating in the Marikina River and a creek in Barangay Silangan, Quezon City, the waste and pollution watchdog group urged pig farmers to report sick pigs to the authorities and to coordinate with them for the safe disposal of dead animals who may be infected with the African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We appeal to affected hog raisers to ensure the safe disposal of carcasses to prevent polluting the environment, especially our water resources,” said Jovito Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“By cooperating with their city or municipal veterinarians, hog raisers can be promptly assisted by trained government personnel in the proper way of disposing dead animals and in cleaning and disinfecting the environs of infected pigs,” he added.

Benosa also reminded the public that dumping dead animals in waterways will be in clear violation of RA 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and RA 9275, or the Clean Water Act, noting that violators may be held civilly and criminally liable.

According to the “Manual on the Preparation of African Swine Fever Contingency Plans” published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), disposal “must be done in such a way that the carcasses no longer constitute a risk for further spread of the pathogen to other susceptible animals by direct or indirect means, for example by carrion eaters, scavengers or through contamination of food or water.”

“This is usually done by deep burial, depending on the nature of the terrain, level of water tables and availability of earth-moving equipment, or by burning, depending on availability of fuels and the danger of starting grass or bush fires,” stated the FAO animal health manual.

“Safe burial or burning of carcasses and other infected materials, cleansing and disinfection of infected premises, and keeping infected premises/villages without pigs for a safe period” are among the main elements of a stamping-out policy for ASF, the manual said.

“Deep burial is the recommended method of carcass disposal to ensure elimination of the virus from the environment,” the manual further said, noting that “burning requires considerable skill to achieve effective results (as) in most cases the carcasses are not incinerated but merely roasted.”