Issue of November 15, 2020
     
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Financial aid for hog raisers affected by ASF dwindling
by Ofelia C. Empian

Hog raisers in Benguet were reminded anew to strictly adhere to biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the African swine fever in their farms, as financial support to farmers is dwindling.

Provincial Veterinarian Head Miriam Tiongan said farmers must prevent the occurrence of the virus in their farms as the spread of ASF is taxing, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recently, the provincial government gave P826,700 to at least 20 swine raisers whose pigs were depopulated due to the ASF virus.

Tiongan said this is the third tranche of assistance to affected swine breeders with 12 coming from Tuba; two each from Atok, La Trinidad, and Itogon; and one each from Buguias and Sablan.

“The assistance is continuing but we hope this would be the last, as there is no more budget for financial assistance,” she said.

Twenty-eight swine raisers received a total of P949,200 assistance on Sept. 8.

Tiongan said they are strengthening their information campaign particularly on heightening of biosecurity measures of each farm based onthe governor’s executive order focusing on farm biosecurity.

The Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, with the help of various municipal agricultural offices and livestock technicians, has rolled out the biosecurity assessment tool for hog raisers in the province.  

The tool will help assess the implementation of biosecurity in various hog or animal farms.

It will also be used to evaluate the livelihood programs given by the government to the farmers and as a basis for the provision of assistance to farmers.

Biosecurity refers to measures that are taken to stop the spread or introduction of harmful organisms to humans, animals, and plant life.

Hog raisers were told to strengthen biosecurity in their farms, such as placing a fence in their farms, putting disinfectant foot bath at the entrance of the farm, non-entry of fresh pork meat inside the farm, and proper documentation of acquired new stocks of piglets, which should be inspected at the provincial animal quarantine station.

They are also reminded not to feed their pigs with swill or food scraps, which is one way the virus is transmitted. They should also be wary who are going in and out of their farms, as they might be hosts of the ASF virus.


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