Benguet town confirms African Swine Fever cases

CONFIRMED cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) were recorded in three different sitios in Bokod, Benguet.

Dr. Miriam Tiongan, Provincial Veterinarian (PVET) and the local government unit of Bokod, confirmed the new cases in Sitio Gurel, Bila and Bangao in the last week of October.

Tiongan said on Monday, November 9, that six pigs from Bangao and one in Bila were depopulated to avoid the spread of ASF.

"In Gurel, the cause of the infection of ASF probably is because of feeding their pigs with leftover human food from restaurants," said Tiongan.

In Bila, she attributed ASF infection to the poor biosecurity system and lack of pig pens.

Following the new recorded cases of ASF, the local government unit called stakeholders to refrain from dumping cadavers of animals in the river after dead pigs allegedly infected by ASF were by scattered by dogs.

Residents are also advised to report sick pigs to the Municipal Agriculture Office.

"Sad to say, we have ASF in our town. We ask for the cooperation of everyone to contain/control the spread of the virus," the local government of Bokod said in a statement.

A joint information education campaign by the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) and the local government were conducted in the different barangays of Bokod upon the request of the different barangays.

The PVO also reiterated the Executive Order 2020-60 for swine raisers, buyers, veterinarians and livestock technicians to strictly observe farm biosecurity measures to fight ASF.

Swine raisers in the province are discouraged from feeding their pigs with leftover human food and any food materials containing pork to prevent the occurrence of the disease among pigs while a vaccine has yet to be developed.

"Observing biosecurity measures in pig farms can effectively prevent the occurrence of ASF," the PVO said.

Households, restaurants, and canteen owners are also asked to dispose their leftover foods through composting, burying and other acceptable ways.

Individuals hauling leftover human food from households, restaurants, canteens, hotels, and other business establishments should not use and sell this as a swine feed.

Under the EO, all hog raisers must enclose their pig farms to prevent stray animals, strangers and vehicles that may harbor the ASF virus from entering

Hog raisers are also required to place footbath filled with one-part household bleach and nine parts water at the entrance of the pig farms.

Pig owners are also advised not to bring in pork and pork products from markets or outside sources including those bought online to farm including those bought online without necessary shipping documents and they must not allow buyers from entering their pig farm.

The executive order said hog raisers must ensure cleanliness of the farm at all times through regular cleaning, disinfection and changing footwear and clothing before entering their pigpens.

Aside from hog raisers, buyers and traders of pigs asked to observe strict hygienic practices such as changing of footwear clothing disinfect utensils.

Of the 13 towns in Benguet, Bakun, Kapangan, Kibungan, Mankayan and Tublay remain ASF free while Atok, Bokod, Buguias, Kabayan, Itogon, La Trinidad, Sablan and Tuba have already reported cases.

Benguet recorded its first confirmed ASF case in February.


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