SAN FERNANDO CITY, Sept. 22 (PIA) - Twelve municipalities and the lone city of La Union are infected with the African Swine Fever (ASF) as reported by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Regional Field Office 1.
Regional Veterinarian III Dr. Alfiero Banaag said the DA's latest monitoring states that about 2,899 hogs had been culled from the 74 barangays affecting some 364 hog raisers in the province.
Among those infected areas include San Fernando City and the municipalities of Agoo, Aringay, Balaoan, Bauang, Pugo, Sto. Tomas, Sudipen, and the most recent are in the towns of Bacnotan, Bangar, Burgos, Luna and Naguilian.
Dr. Banaag said, "Yung ibang bayan ay medyo nag-stable naman na 'yong ASF infection pero patuloy pa rin nating binabantayan."
DA is working in close coordination with the local government units, along with its agriculture and veterinary offices, to implement control measures in order to mitigate the further spread of the ASF virus.
Mandatory culling of all pigs within the 500-meter radius from ground zero, suspension of slaughtering operations, installation of animal quarantine checkpoints to monitor compliance with veterinary health certificates, mandatory reporting of any case of illness/deaths of hogs, weekly ASF testing, disinfection activities in piggeries, and strict inspection of the movement of live hogs, pork and pork by-products must be observed.
Further, DA will provide assistance to affected hog raisers.
As confirmed by the regional veterinarian, Php5,000.00 cash aid will be given to them.
"Limang libo kada ulo ng baboy ang ibibigay but only for a maximum of 21 heads per hog raiser. At iba pa 'yong para naman sa mga biik," he said.
He added, "During culling, dapat nakita ng mga government body ang pagbabaon sa mga baboy dahil 'yong nag-surrender lamang ng mga alaga niyang baboy ang mabibigyan ng ayuda."
Meanwhile, Banaag advised consumers to patronize only those certified meat products which had gone through the municipal slaughterhouse to ensure food safety.
In the province, most supplies of pork and pork by-products are coming from Ilocos Norte since it is the remaining area in the whole region which has no record of ASF and is still considered as a "Green Zone." (JCR/AMB/CGRC/PIA La Union)