January 29, 2023

The Benguet Provincial Veterinary Office has reminded swine raisers to observe biosecurity measures in their farms, as only six of the 13 towns in the province remain free from African swine fever.

Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said Bakun, Mankayan, Kibungan, Kapangan, Tublay, and Bokod remain ASF-free.

During the latest Provincial Inter-Agency Task Force meeting, Tiongan reported the virus has affected the northern towns of Benguet with cases reported in Atok and Buguias last August. There was no reported case in the province in September.

Tiongan warned  the threat of ASF is unavoidable in areas without cases if hog raisers are not cautious and careless in observing biosecurity measures in their farms.

Biosecurity measures include placing a fence in their farms, putting disinfectant foot bath at the entrance of the farm, non-entry of fresh pork meat in the farm, and proper documentation of acquired new stocks of piglets, which should be inspected at the provincial animal quarantine station.

Hog raisers are also reminded not to feed their pigs with swill or food scraps, which is one of the ways the virus is transmitted. 

“We are asking the hog raisers to be wary of where they are buying their new stocks, especially if they are dealing with undocumented sellers because their stocks might be infected with ASF,” Tiongan said.

She said the continuing threat of ASF in neighboring areas in Region 1 caused the plummeting of pork supply in the localities.

Tiongan also urged hog raisers and concerned residents to report ASF-related deaths or cases in their areas so that the office may promptly act on it.

A total of 864 pigs were culled in the province since the first confirmed ASF case in February. – Ofelia C. Empian

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