‘LGUs should have inventory of backyard hog raisers’ -DA

Johanna O. Bajenting

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 will gather all government veterinarians from the different provinces and cities in the region to discuss precautionary measures on the potential entry of the African swine fever (ASF) in Central Visayas.

DA 7 Regional Director Salvador Diputado said they will talk about regulations especially in tracking backyard farmers in their respective areas.

“These will include an inventory of the backyard farmers in their cities and towns as well as how they should react in a situation when ASF has affected their hogs,” he said.

Diputado said even if the region remains ASF-free, it doesn’t mean that it should be complacent in its biosecurity measures and other regulations.

“All LGUs should have an inventory of backyard raisers because we believe the very first to get hit by ASF is our backyard raisers because they don’t have biosecurity,” he said.

The DA 7 chief urged backyard raisers to implement measures to disinfect their areas and report their hogs to the veterinarian to prevent the entry of ASF.

“They will be also taught on how to properly dispose hogs which tested positive of ASF to prevent it from being transmitted to other hogs,” he said.

In the region, based on the figures by the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo), around 150,000 families are involved in pig farming. The local hog industry is valued at P11 billion.

The ASF is a contagious viral disease that exclusively infects pigs and wild boars. It does not cause disease in humans.

DA 7 is expecting 20 veterinarians to attend the meeting in Cebu Business Hotel on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019.

Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the DA’s proposal to use the Office of the President’s contingency fund worth P1 billion to help hog raisers affected by the ASF outbreak in Luzon. The fund will be used to establish cold storage facilities in key areas which includes Cebu for close monitoring of meat shipments.

On Oct. 31, ASF cases have been reported in 22 areas in Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija and Cavite provinces and Quezon City in Metro Manila.