March 3, 2024

Swine growers in the Cordillera have to strengthen their own biosecurity measures as a preventive measure against the threat of African swine fever with cases now reported in Kalinga.
Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Veterinarian III Leisley Deligen said the ASF virus could be prevented with proper sanitation practices in the farm.
“We recommend for the farmers to strengthen their biosecurity and refrain from going to other hog farms. They should always disinfect their tools and equipment such as clothes and rubber boots before and after they go inside their pigpens. Disinfection helps,” Deligen said. 
Biosecurity refers to measures taken to stop the spread or introduction of harmful organisms to human, animal, and plant life.
Deligen said they are going around the region conducting information dissemination to hog raisers in light of the ASF virus that has affected the province of Benguet and with recent reported cases in Kalinga.
He said the recent reported case is in Barangay San Julian in Tabuk City, which was reported to their office in January while Lower Lubo in Tanudan has suspected cases late last year.  
The samples taken from Tanudan and Tabuk City tested positive of the ASF virus.
In the report of the Provincial Information Office of Kalinga Feb. 13, there is a total of 6,429 swine mortality in the entire province with the bulk coming from Tabuk City with 3,018. Also recording swine mortality are Tanudan with 1,499 followed by Lubuagan with 1,225; Tinglayan with 510; Pasil with 200; Pinukpuk with 73, and Balbalan with four.
“Upon investigation, the City Veterinary Office identified four factors contributing to its spread which includes the cultural practice of hog raisers, no health program, improper disposal of dead pigs, and uncontrolled movement of pigs and shippers. The CVO also presented their tentative diagnosis naming ASF, hog cholera, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), or other diseases as the causes of swine deaths in the city,” the information office stated.
No culling was conducted in Kalinga yet.
The provincial government of Kalinga has strengthened its ASF task force and will implement all the procedures following the protocol in Republic Act 3639, which declares that transporting of domestic animals with communicable diseases from provinces or municipalities to the other places is unlawful.
DA-CAR Technical Director for Research and Regulation Jennilyn Dawayan said they have consulted farmers and conducted surveillance on adjacent farms in Kalinga.
Dawayan said they are also meeting with raisers to verify the extent of biosecurity measures existing in the adjacent areas.
The province of Benguet earlier conducted culling of infected swines and sanitation of the affected areas at Camp 1 in Tuba and at Beckel, La Trinidad with a total of 192 swines depopulated among the 31 backyard raisers and one commercial hog raiser. – Ofelia C. Empian