Four villages on lockdown, 5 may follow soon

ASF RAGES

THE African Swine Fever (ASF) continues to spread in Pangasinan as four more barangays were placed under lockdown while five more villages were placed under strict surveillance for the deadly and highly infectious hog disease.

As of February 7. the Provincial Veterinary Office reported 1,611 hogs within the one-kilometer radius of ASF infection, have so far been culled.

Latest to be culled were in Binmaley (33 hogs in Caloocan Sur), Calasiao (36 hogs in Nalsian) and in Lingayen (99 hogs in Namolan) and in Dagupan City (101 hogs in Barangay Carael). Total of 269.

According to Dr. Jovito Tabarejos, assistant provincial veterinarian, 30 blood samples were taken from hogs in Barangay Warey, Malasiqui; 25 in San Isidro, Norte, Binmaley; 30 in Calobaoan, San Carlos City; 30 in Quesban, Calasiao; and 10 in Balingueo, Sta. Barbara.

The samples were submitted to the regional animal blood testing center in Sta. Barbara. If any of these turn positive of ASF, hogs from these barangays will be culled and placed on lockdown in accordance with the one-seven-10 protocol of the Department of Agriculture.

Already afflicted and still on lockdown are: Barangays Linoc and San Isidro Sur in Binmaley; Carael in Dagupan City; and Apaya and Pulong Sur in Malasiqui.

Previously affected were Barangays Baloling, Mapandan; and Apalen, Bayambang.

Grace Palad of the PVO, said there is no confirmation that the reported mass death of hogs in a barangay in Mangatarem as due to ASF because no blood samples were taken from dead hogs.

Meanwhile, Dr. Michael Maramba, city veterinarian of Dagupan, said affected hogs in in Barangay Carael, Dagupan were finally culled after residents and hog raisers withdrew their protest and resistance on the representation of some city officials.

The culling operations in Dagupan was suspended after unidentified residents stoned the backhoe that was to dig the common grave for the hogs.

Maramba told the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Dagupan on Tuesday that the ASF infection in Carael caused by traders from Malasiqui who may have carried the virus while buying hogs as they could not enter Linoc, Binmaley.

Maramba said Barangay Calmay, also in Dagupan, is within the seven-kilometer radius of Barangay Carael and where hog movement is not allowed.

Meanwhile, Dr. Tabarejos, told The PUNCH that swine in Banaoang and Butao, Sta. Barbara; and Tuliao, Calasiao are presently being monitored.

To date, eastern and western Pangasinan remain ASF-free. (Leonardo Micua)

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