Negros Oriental may declare state of calamity due to ASF

Image from Pixabay
Image from Pixabay

THE Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) has started assessing and monitoring the extent of barangays and pigs infected with African Swine Fever (ASF) for the declaration of state of calamity.

Office in Charge Provincial Veterinarian Belinda Villahermosa asked officials to declare a state of calamity to allow the local government units to allocate a portion of contingency funds to indemnify hog raisers affected by the highly contagious disease of pigs.

Villahermosa also urged backyard hog raisers to get insured through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC), a government-owned corporation.

However, areas already designated as red zone for ASF will no longer be insured.

In a Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) meeting on May 26, the provincial veterinarian reported that of the 580 pigs inventoried at "ground zero" or in Barangay Maayong-Tubig, Dauin, only 300 were culled and about 50 still “apparently healthy” and the rest could no longer be located.

Under the agriculture department’s control protocol, the whole population of pigs should be depopulated within the 500-meter radius of the identified ASF positive area.

However, it was noted that there is a possibility that infected hogs at the ground zero may have secretly been brought outside the red zone for economic reasons and traded meat products along the road, said Villahermosa.

According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Dumaguete City, the main purpose of depopulation is to remove the source of infection, and the “apparently healthy pigs” will have to stay for 15 days incubation period.

Both Quarantine Officer Dr. Alfonzo Tundag of BAI and Villahermosa stressed the difficulties in containing the area due to resistance and intervention by at least two municipal council members.

With this, BAI official advised the local officials and residents to cooperate with the authorities on the implementation of ASF control protocols to immediately control and prevent the spread of ASF.

Meanwhile, ASF has also been found in the municipality of Sibulan with at least 50 to 60 pigs being culled.

It was also observed, though, that some backyard hog raisers resisted the culling protocol in Barangay Tubtubon in Sibulan, portion of Magatas and Boloc-boloc, which is adjacent to Dumaguete City. (PIA)


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