Mangaldan holds lechon feast

“PORK SAFE TO EAT”

MANGALDAN— The town’s residents and visitors feasted on more than 50 lechon in front of the public market last Friday, Oct. 4, courtesy of the municipal government in a bid to send the message that the African Swine Fever does not affect humans.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Mayor Marilyn Lambino, said African Swine Fever (ASF) scare already severely affected the sale of pork in the market by 50 percent.

Before the reported smuggling of hogs infected with ASF in Mapandan, hog traders sold 180 to 200 pigs daily average, and it has since dropped to only 100 pigs a day, she pointed out.

“People are afraid to eat pork because of ASF, but with this boodle fight, we wanted to prove that pork meat is free of ASF and are safe to eat,” Lambino said.

This was echoed by Samahan ng Industriya at Agrikultura chairman Rosendo So: “ASF is not communicable to people, so it is safe to eat pork.”

She said the roasted pigs were donated by hog raisers in the town to help to boost confidence of households in consuming pork while their local government is vigilant, watching out for unscrupulous traders who may attempt to bring in hogs from other provinces or other towns affected by ASF.

“I have ordered the police and the barangay officials to keep an eye on all entry points to the town to ensure no ASF-affected hogs will enter our town,” she said as confirmed that a number of traders were successfully intercepted.

“We have confiscated and disposed the pigs from these traders,” she said reiterating the town’s strict requirement of certifications for swine being slaughtered in the town’s abattoir, while banning hogs from Mapandan.

SINAG’s So also confirmed that there is no ASF outbreak in Pangasinan.

“Those which found positive of ASF in Barangay Baloling Mapandan were brought in by traders, they did not originate in the backyard,” he said.

So asserted that the overall sales of pig products in the province is not yet affected by the ASF-scare as the drop in the sales is still part of the lean months.

He also assured that there is ample supply of swine in the province even for the holiday season.

“We have a lot of backyard hog raisers here and piggeries, so we have enough supply,” So said. (Helen Martin)

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