Philippine Daily Inquirer

African swine fever reaches Pangasinan

7 villages in Bayambang town under state of calamity as virus found in local hogs

- —STORY BY YOLANDA SOTELO

BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN—SEVEN villages in this town have been placed under a state of calamity after blood samples taken from animals in a backyard piggery tested positive for the African swine fever virus. More than 400 pigs had been culled and buried since Oct. 18 at Barangay Apalen, where the disease was first reported. A quarantine protocol, covering a 10-km radius from Apalen, has been set.

BAYAMBANG, PANGASINAN —The African swine fever virus has been detected in 30 blood samples taken from a backyard piggery here, prompting the town government to place at least seven villages under a state of calamity on Monday.

More than 400 pigs had been culled and buried since Oct. 18 in Barangay Apalen, where the swine fever infestatio­n was first reported, said Mayor Cezar Quiambao.

The municipal ad hoc committee on African swine fever has implemente­d a “1-7-10” quarantine protocol to contain the spread of the virus.

Under this measure, pigs within a 1-kilometer radius of the infected area are culled even if they are unaffected by the disease. Those within the 7-km radius are placed under surveillan­ce while those within the 10km radius will undergo mandatory monitoring.

Rice for pig

The 1-km radius from Barangay Apalen covers the adjoining villages of Apalen, Tatarac, Carungay and Inirangan.

The committee will also conduct blood test sampling of the hogs within the 7-km radius. They will also be culled if random blood samples will test positive for swine fever virus.

Quiambao said the town government would give hog raisers a sack of rice for every pig culled. This is in addition to the P5,000 per culled pig that the Department of Agricultur­e (DA) will give hog raisers.

Last month, Gov. Amado Espino III said 15 pigs that were delivered to Mapandan town from Bustos town in Bulacan province were tested positive for swine fever.

Espino said the traders who brought the hogs to Barangay Baloling in Mapandan avoided animal quarantine checkpoint­s.

He called on town and village officials to be more vigilant in guarding possible entry points to Pangasinan and in monitoring the swine industry within their areas.

Negative

On Oct. 19, Quiambao issued an executive order declaring a temporary ban on live pigs, fresh and frozen pork in the town.

In Nueva Ecija province, local officials downplayed as “isolated” the reported swine fever cases in backyard farms in a village in Palayan City.

Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas said that recent random blood sampling of commercial hogs tested negative for the virus.

In Santa Rosa town, the associatio­n of market vendors hosted a “boodle

fight” at the municipal gymnasium and the public market where “lechon” (roast pigs) were served to the public to quell fears of swine fever infestatio­n.

According to Lina Silva, associatio­n president, pork sold in the public market come from local hog raisers and are checked by authoritie­s.

Pork ban

In Mindanao, officials of Camiguin said measures were in place to protect the island province’s hog industry from swine fever.

Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said Camiguin, even before cases of swine fever were confirmed in Luzon, had been regulating the entry of pigs, pork and its byproducts, allowing only those with permits from the DA’S Bureau of Animal Industry.

“We have been doing it for a long time since we are an island, we had much control of the products coming in,” Romualdo told reporters during the opening of the Ugmad agro-fair, one of the attraction­s of the island’s 40th Lanzones Festival.

“As soon as you step on our port, you pass through a foot bath and we had our provincial veterinary office inspecting meat and poultry coming in,” he said.

According to Romualdo, the provincial government has to ensure that Camiguin’s food supply, especially those items coming from mainland Mindanao and other parts of the country, is safe for consumptio­n because the province is a prime tourist destinatio­n.

Even plants brought into the island are required to have permits from the DA, he said.

Camiguin is among the provinces in Northern Mindanao implementi­ng a ban on pork from Luzon provinces.

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 ?? —WILLIE LOMIBAO ?? BORDER MONITORING Local government­s secure their borders and tighten monitoring of shipments of live hogs and pork products to prevent the spread of African swine fever.
—WILLIE LOMIBAO BORDER MONITORING Local government­s secure their borders and tighten monitoring of shipments of live hogs and pork products to prevent the spread of African swine fever.

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