A WEEK since the African Swine Fever (ASF), the Department of Agriculture-Davao Region (DA-Davao) said they are expecting to depopulate an estimated 10,000 hogs in the region.
Agriculture secretary William Dar said based on their latest inventory on Saturday, February 8, a total of 5,155 hogs are projected to be culled in Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental, while 2,250 hogs in Calinan District in Davao City have yet to be culled.
Dar said the culling operations were still ongoing as of the Saturday evening.
However, he said they are still finalizing the figures, as inventory is still ongoing.
These areas were declared under state of calamity after samples taken there tested positive for ASF.
Dar, meanwhile, assured the affected hog raisers that they will be compensated for the hogs that will be culled.
For every hog culled, P5,000 will be given to the owners as indemnity payment. Dar said more or less P80 million will be shed out for the payment. Fund had already been requested from the Office of the President, he said.
In addition, Dar said affected hog raisers, which are all backyard raisers, can also avail of DA's P30,000-credit window per hog raisers, which is payable within three years with zero interest.
"They can use this for other livelihood opportunities. But we are not recommending them to return to hog raising unless we can assure that the ASF has gone down," Dar said in a press conference on Saturday afternoon at Acacia Hotel, Davao City.
He also said DA will also be giving suckling for them to start over in their business should the situation on hog raising improve.
Based on the trace back analysis DA conducted, there is a "high chance" that the ASF was brought about by the swill-feeding. These swills may contain pork product which transferred the virus to the local hogs in Don Marcelino killing more than 1,000 hogs.
As Indonesia is also affected by ASF, DA Davao Regional Director Bong Oñate said they initially assessed that the swills and by-products, which came from Indonesia, were fed to the pigs.
Meanwhile, they are still investigating how the virus entered Calinan. Majority of the hog raisers in Calinan had already surrendered their hogs to the authorities for the culling operation.