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MANKAYAN, Benguet – Three barangays in the mining town had been affected by the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) that continues to infect the pigs being managed by local hog raisers.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Miriam Tiongan reported 4 local hog raisers from barangays Bulalacao, Suyoc and Taneg with deaths among their hogs that caused them to request for the conduct of tests to ascertain the reason for the untimely death of their pigs.
For barangay Bulalacao, one hog raiser with 23 hogs reported the sudden death of 3 sows while in the case of Barangay Suyoc, 1 hog raiser with 11 pigs reported the death of 2 sows and 1 boar.
Tiongan disclosed that based on the investigation conducted by personnel from the provincial veterinary office and the municipal agriculture office, the cause of the ASF infection in barangay Suyoc was the alleged contaminated pork brought in to the barangay, while for the case of the infection in barangay Bulalacao, it was the boar semen that was brought to the area from San Fernando City, Pampanga which was supposed to be inseminated to one of the sows of the local hog raiser.
The provincial veterinarian revealed that with the confirmed ASF infestation in Mankayan, it became the tenth municipality in the province to record ASF cases over the past several weeks.
According to her, the three remaining ASF-free municipalities in Benguet are Kibungan, Kapangan and Bakun.
After receiving the reports on the sudden death of the pigs by the hog raisers, Tiongan claimed that immediate tests were conducted that showed positive results that led to the depopulation of the remaining hogs to prevent the further spread of the animal illness in other parts of the said barangays.
She stipulated those personnel from the provincial veterinary office were simply in the municipality conducting bio-security surveillance and assessment when they were approached by the concerned hog raisers whose pigs suddenly died that prompted them to immediately conduct the required tests on the animals pursuant to prescribed procedures that allowed them to discover the presence of ASF in the locality.
Tiongan added that information and education campaign is being conducted by the concerned personnel of the provincial veterinary office and the municipal agriculture office to make the hog raisers understand the need to immediately depopulate the hogs in the areas where ASF had been proven to be present to prevent the further spread of the animal virus which could cause more problems for the hog raisers once there will be an outbreak in the municipality.