February 3, 2023

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera assured the public that the region is free from African swine fever (ASF) as of Oct. 9.

This was confirmed during in a meeting tackling emerging swine diseases on Oct. 9at the DA Conference Hall, BPI Compound, Guisad, Baguio City.

Results from the laboratory of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) also confirmed that samples taken from the pigs that were dumped in Loakan, Itogon, Benguet last Sept. 24 tested negative of ASF.

ASF is a fatal animal disease affecting pigs and wild boars with up to 100 percent case fatality rate, and is considered a grave threat to the Philippine swine industry.

Data of the Philippine Statistic Authority from April to June 2019 shows that the Cordillera swine population is about 260,000 heads and most are raised through backyard farming.

Dr. Karl Kigis, regional ASF focal person, said that the DA is doing its best effort and measures in the prevention and control of animal pestand disease outbreak, especially in assuring that ASF will not enter the region.

“Preparedness or improved early warning detection and coordination needto be in place and reviewed properly in relation to cases of ASF from other regions,” Kigis said.

Dr.Delfina P. Layagan, veterinarian IV of BAI-National Veterinary Quarantine Services, said the operation of quarantine checkpoints is continuous to ensure that no product carrier of ASF coming from the neighboring places will enter the region.

She added that they have requested the national office for additional personnel to be deployed in the different quarantine checkpoint areas of the region.

Thirteen quarantine checkpoints were positioned in different provinces.

Local government officials present during the meeting also requested the Police Regional Office Cordillerafor additional police personnel to be deployed in the quarantine checkpoints 24/7.

LGUs have prepared preventive measures from memorandum on temporary banof shipments of any pork products to implementing advocacy activities like the lechon festival in Baguio City to prove that local meat products are ASF-free.– Alfredo Cañero