January 31, 2023

With new cases of African swine fever being reported in Kabayan, Benguet, the best prevention against the ASF virus is the full cooperation of the community through their town leaders.
Benguet Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said all local government units must work together in preventing the spread of the ASF virus, as officials noted the increase of cases in previous months.
During the emergency meeting with the various LGUs on ASF on March 3, Tiongan said they primarily discussed the executive order of Gov. Melchor Diclas on the zoning of the various areas in Benguet according to their status of the disease.
“We discussed that those infected with ASF should contain their movement because in reality, there are those that are going out of their area. Meaning, there are areas where the virus is not yet contained,” Tiongan said. 
Diclas earlier issued EO 012-2020 calling for the zoning of the municipalities into two categories: red zone for ASF-positive barangays and green zone for ASF-negative barangays.
Declared as red zones are Camp 4, Taloy Sur, and Camp 1 in Tuba; Beckel in La Trinidad; Loacan and Tinongdan in Itogon; and Poblacion in Kabayan.
All other barangays in the province that are not affected with ASF virus are considered green zones.
“Swine, pork and pork products from the red zone are not allowed to be brought out from the respective infected barangay and will only be consumed within the barangay, but adjacent barangays declared as red zones can trade their swine pork and pork products,” Diclas’ order stated.
“Swine, pork and pork products from the red zone are banned from entering the green zone,” it added.
For pork products from the green zone, it is allowed to be sold in other green zones as well as red zones.
Tiongan said they are hoping that the LGUs would strengthen their resolve to curb the disease especially after hog raisers were informed of the importance of adhering to the laws set by the LGUs.
She said there are other hog raisers, for fear of their swines getting depopulated especially those near the ground zero or identified infected areas, are bringing their swines to be sold in green zones.
She lauded LGUs that conducted preventive measures against ASF. The municipalities of Atok, Bokod and Kapangan declared a lockdown of the entry of fresh pork and pork products in their areas.
Also, Bakun, Itogon, Kibungan, and Tublay declared a temporary total ban of fresh pork and pork products while Kabayan declared a suspension of swine raising in the 13 barangays of the municipality as well as temporary banning the entry of live pigs, pork, and processed meats in the town.
Kabayan has encouraged its hog raisers to sell their available swine within the municipality as well as prohibited swill feeding.
Tiongan said it all boils down to the partnership of the community and LGUs in order to combat the further spread of the disease. – Ofelia C. Empian

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