June 21, 2024

The Office of the Provincial Veterinarian in Benguet announced it was able to manage cases of African swine fever in the province with Kibungan the only town without an outbreak of the viral hog disease.

 Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said 16 swine raisers were affected by the ASF since the start of the year. 

 She credited the town’s neighbor, Kapangan’s proactive measure against ASF which was also able to shield Kibungan from the disease. Disease surveillance remains in all 13 towns.

 The latest recorded case was from three raisers from Buguias, which are suspected to have come from infected pork meat that were consumed by the farmers or has been added to pig food, and ended up infecting their swine.

Tiongan urged concerned hog raisers to immediately report any death or illness of their animals to the OpVet so that they may qualify for financial assistance from the provincial government if their swine were tested positive for ASF.

Some hog raisers are still hesitant to report to the OpVet possible ASF cases for fear that all pigs will be culled.

“Early reporting will avert the spread of the ASF virus. We continuously call on the hog raisers to raise their biosecurity measures and not to relax because the disease is still out there,” Tiongan said.

She said around 70 percent of the affected raisers also got the ASF infection into their farms by buying piglets from unscrupulous sellers, who sold at cheaper prices.

During the ASF outbreak, the Department of Agriculture’s protocol is to cull every infected swine within one kilometer of the infected area to prevent the spread of infection.

The protocol has been modified so that only the infested swine will be culled under the “test and destroy only” scheme.

From January to May 15, the provincial government gave a total of P978,300 assistance to ASF-affected raisers in the province. – Ofelia C. Empian