Pangasinan already ASF-free
BANTAY BARANGAY, BABAY ASF PROPOSED
PANGASINAN was already African Swine Fever (ASF)-free days before President Rodrigo Duterte placed the whole country under the state of calamity because of the impact of the ASF.
This was the advisory of the acting provincial veterinarian relayed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP).
Dr. Jovito Tabarejos, acting provincial veterinarian, said it was the regional AFP coordinator of the Department of Agriculture who told him last week that there are no more cases of ASF detected in Pangasinan.
He added that the Regional Animal Diagnostic Laboratory based in Sta. Barbara town also reported that there are no more hogs in the province getting sick and dying because of ASF.
Tabarejos appeared before the SP during its virtual session on May 10 and asked for the passage of a proposed ordinance adopting the DA’s “Bantay Barangay, Babay ASF” that seeks to create a provincial ASF task force and to create positions for Barangay Bio-Security Officers that will report every incident in their respective areas.
The proposal recognizes ASF as a high impact transboundary animal disease that continues to affect the swine production sector of the Philippines with no vaccine and no known cure to date resulting in industry estimate of 36 percent reduction of national swine inventory impacting both livelihood and agricultural economy.
To achieve the objective, the program will establish the Provincial ASF Task Force, Registration and Deputization of Biosecurity Officers, Disease Investigation, Surveillance, Weekly Disease Monitoring, Hog Transport Pass, Awareness Campaign, Recovery and Repopulation, among others.
Liga ng Barangay Provincial Federation President Jinky Zaplan agreed to refer the proposed provincial ordinance to the Committee on Agriculture after the SP gets an official confirmation from the DA that Pangasinan is, indeed, ASF-free.
The “Babay ASF” program will need a P10 million budget fund for the training of Barangay Bio-Security Officers on how to detect hogs infected with ASF and whose report will be submitted to the Municipal Bio-Security Officer and office of the provincial veterinarian before the blood of the sick animal is collected for submission to the Regional Animal Diagnostic Laboratory.
Part of the budget will be used to clean and disinfect pig pens where sentinel or test hogs will be raised in pilot areas, Tabarejos said. “Once no more hogs are getting infected or dying, more sentinel hogs will be raised in in Pangasinan,” he added. (Leonardo Micua/Eva Visperas)
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