SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Hog mortalities in the municipality of Hamtic in Antique have already spread to 22 barangays with the damages due to death of 1,237 swine pegged at PHP11 million.
The Antique Provincial Veterinary Office (ProVet) has already submitted specimen samples to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) on June 16 for confirmation of the suspected cases of African swine fever (ASF); results are expected either Tuesday or on June 21.
ProVet chief of the Public Health Division Dr. Marco Rafael Ardamil, in an interview on Monday, said that once the result is positive, the local government can already declare for a state of calamity so it could utilize its local disaster risk reduction management fund to assist hog raisers.
"Hamtic has now an estimated damage of PHP11 million damage with over a thousand hog mortalities," Ardamil said.
Meantime, Antique Vice Governor Edgar Denosta who chairs the Committee on Agriculture at the Provincial Board called for a meeting of all municipal agricultural officers and association of barangay captains where he called for the strict implementation of the Bantay ASF sa Barangay (Babay ASF) program in order to prevent the further spread of the disease on Monday.
"Under the Babay ASF Ordinance, the barangay officials have crucial roles in the protection of their barangays," he said.
Ardamil said that under barangay officials have four major roles under the Babay ASF including the conduct of surveillance in hog farms, establish quarantine to prevent spread of the disease like the border checkpoint, hold information and education campaign, and organize a quick response team that will be mobilized for disinfection if there is an ASF case.
The ProVet head added that they have also proposed to Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao to allocate PHP10 million as assistance to affected hog raisers.
Hamtic has more or less 9,000 hog population. (PNA)