DA 7 readies anti-ASF equipment, training

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 wants other provinces to follow Cebu’s installed measures against the African swine fever (ASF).

DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado said Cebu has the latest protective equipment and protocol training to combat ASF if it manages to sneak into the province.

“Cebu is in the forefront of our campaign against the ASF. All the preparations are in place, like the personal protection equipment, which will be worn by the ones that will get the samples in the hot zone to prevent them from being a carrier of ASF,” he said.

Under the 1-7-10 protocol, the DA requires all pigs within a one kilometer radius of infected farms to be culled, and a surveillance of the animals within a seven kilometer radius and a submission of mandatory report on the disease on pigs within the 10 kilometer radius to be made.

The province of Cebu has geotagged backyard farms so the response team may be able to pinpoint the 1-7-10 areas.

“Cebu has already 1-7-10 map using drones. Meaning, if one backyard raiser has been hit by the ASF, the provincial veterinarian can already pinpoint the range of the areas covered under that protocol,” he said.

Diputado said they asked permission from DA Secretary William Dar for funds for the emergency procurement of the anti-ASF equipment.

“We urged all local government units to shortcut the issuance of resolutions. We create it ahead but it will not be activated unless the ASF is already there. So we can arrest and activate measures to contain ASF,” he said.

Diputado also assured there is a standby fund under the quick response fund as approved by Dar.

“It means that those backyard farmers whose hogs will be culled will be reimbursed,” he said.

Diputado said they will provide opportunities to backyard raisers to temporarily shift to chicken, goat, cow and sheep raising in case of an ASF outbreak.

“We are also working on providing farmers these animals so they can still generate income and not rely solely on hogs,” he said. (JOB)