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Philippines confirms African swine fever, culls 7,000 pigs

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials say lab tests have confirmed African swine fever has caused the deaths of pig herds in at least seven villages near Manila and adds a multi-agency body will be set up to ensure the highly contagious disease would not spread further.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Monday that 16 of 20 blood samples sent to a British lab tested positive for the disease but further tests were needed to ascertain the virulence of the virus. More than 7,000 pigs have been culled in farms in villages in two provinces feared to have been hit by the by viral infection.

The Philippines is the latest country to be hit by the disease that has ravaged pig herds in Asia with hard-hit China and Vietnam culling millions of pigs.

The Associated Press