SAMPLES SENT FOR TESTING
LINGAYEN—Sixty hogs that were transported from Bustos, Bulacan and slipped through undetected to Barangay Baloleng, Mapandan, were killed and buried immediately to ensure that the suspected African Swine Fever (ASF) will not infect other hogs in Pangasinan.
This was bared by Provincial Legal Officer Geraldine Baniqued, a member of the task force created by Governor Amado Espino III to oversee the implementation of his order banning the entry of hogs into Pangasinan, over Bombo Radyo Dagupan on September 28.
The delivery of the sixty hogs to Mapandan was discovered by the task force after five hogs that were reported as new arrivals in Calasiao were found to have been sourced from Mapandan. The five hogs in Calasiao were also killed and buried.
Baniqued said the two businessmen, Jaime Garcia and Roger Erpelo, both residents of Mapandan, who shipped the hogs surreptitiously did not resist the confiscation and killing of the hogs on site.
Asked how the hogs were killed, Assistant Provincial Veterinarian Jovito Tabarejos told THE PUNCH that each was shot on the head with a Cal. 22 revolver in accordance with the disposal protocol approved by the Department of Agriculture.
Baniqued said the condemnation of swine was also witnessed by Provincial Administrator Nimrod Camba, representatives of the Bureau of Animal Industry and DA Region 1, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Officer Rhodin Luchinvar Oro and Tabajeros.
They did not leave the site in Barangay Baloleng until all the dead hogs were buried.
It was the first mass condemnation and disposal of swine in Pangasinan as a precautionary measure against the spread of ASF.
According to Baniqued, the task force confiscated the hogs for condemnation even if it wasn’t sure that Bustos town, in Bulacan, is within the 10-kilometer radius of ASF infection in Guiguinto town because the unchecked delivery itself was a violation of the Executive Order of Governor Amado Espino III for a total ban on the entry of swine from other provinces into Pangasinan.
She said Garcia and Erpelo went to Bustos, Bulacan to buy hogs that were being sold at half the usual price and returned undetected by slipping through quarantine-police checkpoints.
Baniqued said blood samples were taken from some hogs before they were killed for submission for laboratory test to determine if the hogs were afflicted by ASF.
She said if the tests turn out to be positive, the 1-7-10 protocol of the DA will be immediately strictly enforced in Mapandan.
The protocol requires that all hogs within the one-kilometer radius from the place of infection will be depopulated., There will be no movement of hogs within the seven -kilometer radius and all hogs within the 10-kilometer radius will be put under strict surveillance.
She said Gov. Espino ordered the immediate investigation of Garcia and Erpelo after they told investigators the route they took to escape detection.
Baniqued said the prompt detection of the 65 hogs should assure Pangasinenses that the province remains ASF-free. (Leonardo Micua)
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