Swine re-population mulled for Benguet ASF-free towns

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Jan 30 (PIA) -- The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera   plans to   re-populate pigs in areas which are free from the African Swine Fever (ASF) disease in efforts to revive the swine industry.

DA-CAR Assistant Agricultural Production Coordinating Officer Cirilo Batan said following the drastic decrease in pig production affecting supply of pork and its by-products due to ASF including some towns of Benguet, they are considering re-population of pigs in ASF-free areas. The DA will be the source of piglets for re-stocking.

Provincial Veterinarian Office Head Dr. Miriam Tiongan said  with  market price of pork  jacked up to P420 per kilo now  from the  P250.00/kilo last year, swine re-population   is a good program to be implemented in municipalities without ASF cases.

The municipalities of Kapangan, Kibungan, Bakun, Mankayan, and Tublay which are without recorded ASF cases are the possible priority areas. Tiongan also   recommends the municipalities of Kabayan, Atok, Sablan, and Buguias which have only one recorded case each in the past, but are now ASF-free.

Prior to re-population, DA requires updating of population of raisers and pigs in the barangay, which the OPVET has already coordinated with the municipalities.

ASF has affected Luzon since last year and traders are shipping from Visayas and Mindanao. In other areas, the local governments are keeping their sources and reserving for their own consumption

The province of Benguet is not spared of the disease. There were   ASF occurrences last year affecting hog raisers in eight municipalities, and   about 1,800 pigs were either culled or died due to ASF, Tiongan revealed.

There are existing farms that are ASF-free such as those in Beling Belis in Kapangan, Sto Nino Farm in Tublay and Naguey in Atok.

The province has also its own multiplier farm in San Pascual, Tuba But these but it can only produce so much, said Tiongan.   

 “Raising our own keeps the local sources ASF-free.”   There is no assurance of those being shipped from other areas which may be ASF-free from the point of origin but may possibly be infected when transferred from one stockyard to the other before reaching the province. It will just become a vicious cycle, she said.     

While pig re-population is still for roll out, Tiongan advised farmers to shift in the meantime to alternative meat sources such as chicken poultry raising. (JDP/SCA-PIA CAR, Banquet)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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