February 9, 2023

New cases of African swine fever (ASF) were recorded in Tublay, Tuba, and Itogon, all in Benguet, after almost three months of having no reported cases in the province.

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Miriam Tiongan said they have recorded 122 pigs that died due to ASF, 83 of which died before ASF testing was done while the other 39 were depopulated as a result of the testing.

The reported ASF cases last month involved hogs bought from outside of Benguet.

Tiongan said the first case reported to them last month was from Tublay, involving two backyard farms adjacent each other.

Based on their investigation, two pigs were bought in one of the slaughterhouses in Baguio City and were placed in the pigpen together with other pigs.

Two days later, the newly bought pigs died and was reported to the OpVet, which tested the pigs as positive for ASF. She said three pigs were then depopulated from that farm.

In Camp 4, Tuba, two separate farms also reported cases of death of pigs.  

One of the affected farms has 51 piglets which the owner personally bought from outside the province. Out of the herd, 32 piglets died while 19 were depopulated.

The owner of the nearby farm reported that 12 of the 13 piglets bought from outside the province also died. The lone surviving piglet tested positive for ASF.

Tiongan said the farmers bought the piglets from separate agents, whom they met in person to get the piglets.

In Ucab, Itogon, 16 pigs tested positive of the virus and were depopulated.

Tiongan has reminded hog raisers not to buy piglets from outside sellers if they are not sure of the health of the pigs. On one hand, she said the piglets might be healthy from the source but along the way, the hog raisers and sellers were not able to observe biosecurity measures.

Affected farmers will receive assistance from their respective local government units and the Department of Agriculture. – Ofelia C. Empian