CITY OF MALOLOS – Around 7,000 hog raisers in Bulacan see hope after two years of African Swine Fever (ASF) infestation and hogs depopulation in 2019 to 2020 as the Provincial Government implements the Bulacan Swine Repopulation Project.
Governor Daniel R. Fernando said that the Provincial Veterinary Office started environmental swabbing and water sample analysis in June and is continuously doing so for ASF virus detection.
“Guided by the Bantay ASF sa Barangay or BABay ASF program, we need to control the spread of the disease and push for the rehabilitation of our local hog industry. Layunin nito na makatulong sa mga pig farmers na makabalik sa pag-aalaga ng baboy ng ligtas at magkaroon ng responsible repopulation para makaiwas muli sa outbreak,” Fernando said.
Based from the PVO data, 17 municipalities including Balagtas, Baliwag, Bulakan, Calumpit, Angat, Bocaue, Bustos, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Pandi, Paombong, Plaridel, Pulilan, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael and City of Malolos were affected wherein 120,268 pigs from 40 commercial hog farms and 87,743 pigs from backyard farms were culled.
“Noon nasa 100,000 na baboy kada buwan ang nabebenta natin, ngayon nasa more or less 10,000 na lang. Dati rin 50 porsyento ng pangangailangan ng karne sa Metro Manila tayo ang nagdadala kaya nakita nyo hindi talaga makapagbaba ng presyo ng baboy kasi hindi pa talaga tayo makapagproduce,” Fernando added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Voltaire Basinang, head of the PVO said that hog farmers who are recipients of the government sponsored sentinel program can start raising pigs again after testing negative from ASF virus twice in two weeks, one week apart and passing the biosecurity audit.
Further, they are also continuously conducting seminar/forum and information dissemination, while farms conduct their continuous cleaning and disinfection.
To qualify for the loan programs, the PVO also recommends to farms inside the red zone that were not affected by ASF since the beginning of the outbreak, to follow protocols and accomplish random blood sampling and nasal swab from existing pig stocks that must be done two weeks apart as well as environmental swab including water samples which should be done one week apart and a passing grade in the biosecurity level 2 as required by BABay ASF.
Moreover, they will also launch the adopt a barangay project, a collaboration from different veterinary and private groups led by the Philippine Veterinary Drug Association (PVDA) and the PVO in line with the BABay ASF which aims to initially release three barangays of Santa Maria from the red zone to pink zone through the improvement of biosecurity applied in the pig farms, education of the farmers through trainings and seminars and total involvement and collaboration between all stakeholders, backyard and commercial alike.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs caused by “a large DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family.” Currently, there is no approved vaccine for the ASF. ###