Issue of May 17, 2020
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30 pigs die of ASF in Benguet; ‘Be on guard,’ says vet office
by Ofelia C. Empian

Disinfection is now ongoing in the areas in the Benguet where 30 pigs are believed to have died of the African swine fever.

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Miriam Tiongan said pig raisers from Barangay Tuding in Itogon and barangays Bahong and Wangal in La Trinidad were told to conduct disinfection in their farms after their hogs were buried. 

Tiongan said the hog raisers were the ones who approached her office to report the sudden deaths of their swine. She said Office of the Provincial Veterinarian personnel conducted rapid tests, taking samples from the swine, which turned out positive.

Later, the hogs died one by one from the viral disease, needing no depopulation.

She said the hogs that died are all locally sourced, meaning it did not come from sources outside of the province.

“The hogs were never brought out of the province since movement of live pigs or meat is hard these days,” Tiongan said. 

She added the animal quarantine checkpoints in the major entry and exit points of Benguet are still ongoing despite the province being under community quarantine.

“We have been strict in implementing quarantine checkpoints, with legitimate traders being thoroughly checked for required papers,” Tiongan said.

She said vehicles given food passes are not undergoing inspection since it is not part of their mandate. She said vehicles with food passes are actively going to various markets outside of Benguet, even in areas, which have recorded ASF cases.  

Tiongan earlier said anyone or anything could be a carrier of the ASF virus, reason why limiting the movement of vehicles and people is important.

Last March, three dead pigs confiscated  were in one of the checkpoints in Benguet.

Based on their animal disease surveillance report, the last ASF case recorded in the province was in February.

The OPVET conducted depopulation in Barangay Beckel, La Trinidad; Camps 1 and 4 in Tuba, and in Tinongdan, Itogon to rid of the ASF. 

“It’s a warning for everyone not to be complacent against ASF, even with this Covid-19 we are dealing with,” she said, as she urged hog raisers to still adhere with biosecurity in their farms, including small backyard raisers.

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