BAGUIO CITY — To prevent the entry of infected hogs and meat with the African Swine Fever (ASF), Ifugao province closed its gates to live pig and pork. Meanwhile, the province of Benguet lifted its temporary ban on the entry of live swine following its implementation of “extensive” control measures.

Ifugao Governor Jerry Dalipog signed Executive Order No. 14, instituting a temporary prohibition on the entry of live pigs, and fresh and frozen pork in the province. The governor said that the ban would remain in place until the Bureau of Animal Industry- Department of Agriculture (BAI-DA) declares that the threat is over.

Provincial Veterinarian James Gopeng appealed to the locals to cooperate with the lockdown. He asked residents to report shippers or traders that bring undocumented hogs and pork products in the province.

The doctor likewise assured the public that the ASF virus is not a threat to public health. However, he advised caution in buying pork and other meat products. He said they should look for the certification that the live pigs or pork products passed safety measures.

Implementation of the ban came after reports of ASF contamination in some parts of the Cordillera region. Kalinga is the latest province to confirm areas infected with the ASF. The Regulations Division of DA Cordillera region identified Barangay San Julian in Tabuk City as ground zero, where 39 livestock died in a commercial piggery.

Meanwhile, Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas lifted the temporary ban on the entry of live pigs. According to him, they assumed that possible spread is under control after the extensive and tremendous effort measures instituted.

The Benguet Provincial Veterinary Office and the Municipal Agricultural Offices of Tuba and La Trinidad local agriculture conducted depopulation of the infected pigs. They culled a total of192 hogs within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero in Beckel. Also killed were 32 pigs in Barangay Alno, La Trinidad, 177 pigs in Camp 6, and another 35 in Camp 1, both in Tuba, Benguet. They also implemented strict disease surveillance and launched an education campaign.

On February 7, Benguet imposed a temporary ban on live pigs following the confirmed ASF infection in a Sitio of Barangay Beckel, La Trinidad, and Barangay Camp 1, Tuba. Local officials said the contamination came from piglets bought by a swine raiser from Pangasinan.

The governor warned individuals who are sneaking undocumented pigs and pork products in the province. He urged the public, especially the traders of live pigs, to comply with the Provincial Ordinance 18-227 or the Provincial Animal Quarantine Regulation. He also reminded hog raisers to avoid feeding their pigs with swill or “arasaw,” especially leftover foods from restaurants.

The agriculture department compensates owners with P5000 for each culled pig, ages 29 days and above. Each raiser will receive a maximum indemnification for 20 pigs. # nordis.net

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