December 6, 2022

Abra is now on alert against the spread of African swine fever as samples from wild pigs in the towns of Malibcong, Daguioman, and Tineg were positive for the virus.

Abra Gov. Joy Bernos has issued an executive order on April 20 declaring ASF outbreak affecting wild pig population in the three municipalities.

Bernos said ASF cases involving wild pigs or locally called alingo were first identified last month in the Comia-as forest in Malibcong, which is bordering Kalinga. 

“Continued testing and surveillance was conducted revealing confirmed positive cases of ASF among several wild pigs and several native pigs in Tineg and Daguioman,” Bernos said.

The governor has ordered an extensive monitoring, surveillance, and investigation of swine production and hog raising, including slaughtering and butchering activities within and the surrounding areas of ASF-affected communities every week.

Bernos also called for close coordination among all municipal personnel, hog and swine raisers, meat storage facilities, meat processing plants and related businesses including retail market with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian as lead coordinating teams.

The regular decontamination and disinfection of these establishments was also ordered.

The transport of swine, swine products and by-products, including wild pigs within 500 meters from ASF-infected areas has been stopped while the ASF-infected towns were placed under quarantine.

Earlier, OpVet chief Jomarh Zales said the cases of ASF infecting the wild boar population of the province is harder to track since the wild pigs cannot be contained unlike pigs that are raised in pigpens.

The OpVet has already conducted coordination with the affected towns including nearby municipalities to conduct information campaign and remind hog raisers to properly implement and heighten biosecurity measures in their farms.

Malibcong Mayor Romando Bacuyag earlier released an executive order banning the conduct of hunting of wildlife in the forests of the municipality.

The mayor mandated barangay officials to implement the order and conduct monitoring in their respective communities.

Based on the data of Bureau of Animal industry as of April 19, the towns of Tineg and Malibcong are considered red zones or areas with infected pig population.

Atok, Bokod, Buguias, Itogon, Kabayan, La Trinidad, Tuba, and Tublay in Benguet were likewise listed in the red zone.

The red zones in Ifugao are Banaue, Kiangan, Lagawe, Lamut, Alfonso Lista, Aguinaldo, and Asipulo while Kalinga’s red zones are Balbalan, Pasil, Pinukpuk, Rizal, Tabuk City, Tanudan, and Tinglayan.

Mountain Province’s red zones are Bontoc, Paracelis, and Sadanga; while Apayao’s red zones are Kabugao, Luna, and Santa Marcela. – Ofelia C. Empian