Sun, 05 Jul 2020

LGUs, DA strengthen efforts to curb ASF resurgence in Benguet

Philippine Information Agency
31 May 2020, 20:38 GMT+10

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, May 31 (PIA) -- Local government units and the Department of Agriculture are strengthening measures to curb the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) which has resurged in the province.

Provincial Veterinary Office head Dr. Miriam Tiongan said ASF is spreading quickly affecting nine barangays in the towns of La Trinidad and Itogon in just a month-time. This was never experienced before by backyard pig raisers.in the province, she said.

In the capital town, ASF was first recorded in Bahong followed by Wangal then Lubas and spread out in Pico and Puguis and the latest in Bineng. In the municipality of Isogon, it started in Tuding and spread out in Ucab and Gumatdang, said Tiongan.

To date, there are about 100 pigs infected in these barangays.

"ASF is likened to the COVID-19. We do not know where and when it strikes, it cannot be prevented unless we follow protocol. Prevention is better as there is no cure and no vaccine," Tiongan said.

Aside from the conduct of information dissemination activities, the Department of Agriculture and the PVET will give disinfectants to prevent the spread of the disease.

La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda issued Executive Order Number 031 prohibiting the transfer, sale and bringing out of pork, live or otherwise, from the identified affected barangays in the municipality. However, pork may still be purchased from the locally registered slaughter houses in barangay Lubas and Bahong since regular inspection is conducted.

The order also requires testing in adjoining barangays of their pigs. If contamination is verified, depopulation will ensue. Likewise, there is a mandatory municipal-wide registration of hog growers.

The PVET Office is requesting swine raisers for the registration of their hogs in order to have check and balance, for information purposes, technical assistance or referral where to purchase certified or disease-free pigs. As the quarantine is still in effect, it developed an online registration or e-registration. They can go to the link, https://drive.google.com/.../1Ef2lVjFYgy7OnDg7u1-vt3Yi8.../view

Governor Melchor Diclas said the provincial government will be sparing some amount to those affected by the ASF.

Tiongan said since the recorded cases last February were already contained, they continued surveillance but there was controlled movement since the quarantine period preventing them to resume.

Among the reasons cited on the resurgence of the virus are pork products which were not declared and managed to enter the province, feeding of swill, and pigs that lost appetite that were butchered and distributed for free unknowingly they were infected with the disease.

The rise of tiangge found along roads which include meat products such as pork may also be one of the sources, said Tiongan.

Municipal Agriculturist Felicitas Ticbaen advised raisers to purchase piglets from certified sellers with documents and pass through quarantine if coming from other areas. Make sure that the piglets you buy do not come from affected areas.

Buy pork only from accredited slaughter houses to ensure that it is safe. Report if there are signs of ASF or if ill, she added.

For further details, contact La Trinidad OMAG at phone number 422- 4515 or contact Municipal Veterinarian Dr Mark Padao at mobile number 09509851498. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)

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