February 1, 2023

The Benguet veterinarian is asking swine raisers to heighten their biosecurity as new cases of African swine fever were reported in La Trinidad and Bokod.

Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said they have depopulated 12 pigs from the three backyard farms found positive of ASF.

Tiongan reported a hog raiser from Shilan, La Trinidad brought the piglets from an online seller from Tarlac, a move that has been discouraged by her office since it is hard to determine the health of the swine being sold online.

In Bokod, she said they received calls from the hog raisers for them to check on their sick hogs, of which the rapid tests conducted revealed the hogs are indeed positive for ASF.

Last month, Bokod reported a case of pig carcasses that were thrown to the river. The municipality has since been conducting information campaign to hog raisers to report any sick hogs or animals to the local government unit or the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (Opvet).

“The reminders have been constantly repeated to swine raisers but I think it didn’t quite sink in until they experienced it,” Tiongan said.

Some hog raisers would butcher their sick hogs and sell its meat, instead of reporting it for proper disposal and action. 

The Opvet with the help of various municipal agricultural offices and animal technicians will be rolling out the biosecurity assessment tool for hog raisers in the province.

She said the tool would help assess the implementation of biosecurity in the various hog or animal raising farms.

“We have agreed with various government agencies that this assessment tool would be used to evaluate the livelihood programs being given by the government to the farmers. The form would be a basis as well for the government to give further assistance to them,” she said.

Biosecurity refers to measures that are taken to stop the spread or introduction of harmful organisms to human, animal and plant life.

Hog raisers are told to strengthen biosecurity in their farms such as placing a fence in their farms, putting disinfectant foot bath at the entrance of the farm, non-entry of fresh pork meat inside the farm, and proper documentation of acquired new stocks of piglets which should be inspected at the provincial animal quarantine station. – Ofelia C. Empian