Limlingan: The ASF

The Advocate

THE issue and the scare on African swine fever (ASF) seems hard to wither considering that many people in Central Luzon as still adamant to consume pork in their meals due to the said affliction on pigs.

Recently, none other than Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar has already declared that Bulacan and Pampanga as ASF-infected zones and such has alarmed not only the consuming public but also those in the industry.

The ASF, as per my sources, is a fever characterized by the lack of appetite of hogs, the presence of mucus in their noses and mouths, their apparent sickly conditions that the said animals prefer to lie down on their sides and cannot stand. Since they would not want to eat, they lose weight and die within a few days of infection.

The infection is contagious among hogs and there is no evidence that there is animal-to-human infection. Nonetheless, the public would not want of course to eat the meat of sick animals like those infected with the ASF.

Some local officials in both provinces have already showcased their pork-eating activities to dispel the idea that eating ASF-infected meat is deadly.

This is to establish confidence among people that it is definitely safe to eat pork and there is no problem at all with it.

While there are some hogs in the province of Pampanga that are not infected of the ASF, we cannot blame those who do not consume pork as a result of the scare.

Hog, swine, pig raisers are suffering a lot from the ASF scare. Add to them are the meat processors: giant factories, backyard or households alike. Both provinces are well-known to have a great number of meat processing plants that produce tocinos, longganisas, bacons, hams and other meat products that even if such are indeed ASF-free, people are still unyielding to eating pork like they used to.

Some restaurants with pork dishes as their specialties are also suffering from the ASF scare.

This, despite restaurants do care for their customers' health and safety as they cook pork meat from sources that are certified to be safe from ASF.

Meanwhile, the Pampanga Swine Producers Association Inc. (PSPAI), a group of businessmen in the piggery and hog farms industry, are responsive enough to the issues and concerns emanating from the ASF-infection in the province.

They expressed their willingness and cooperation to address problems brought about by the ASF.

The good thing about the group is that they care more for the health of the public than their businesses which is indeed in distress.

There are always two sides of any business. Profit or otherwise. The swine/hog industry are now suffering from losses but this in definitely not the end of the world for those into it.

Not long ago, the chicken and poultry industry also suffered the same fate when bird flu struck Pampanga and neighboring towns in other provinces.

The industry may have suffered too from losses but they have bounced back from the flu problem.

This is a manifestation of the Filipinos' resiliency especially Kapampangans.

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