Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Merriam Tiongan said the ASF Task Force conducted culling of 192 pigs within the one-kilometer radius of the ASF ground zero in Sitio Obulan in barangay Beckel, this town over the weekend.
The culling was conducted after blood samples of the pigs in a backyard piggery in Beckel tested positive of the ASF virus last week. This affected the livelihood of 31 families in at least nine sitios in Barangay Beckel.
The ASF Task Force also conducted culling of at least 35 pigs in Camp 1 in Tuba, Benguet after the laboratory tests came back positive for the ASF virus.
In Camp 6, also in Tuba, Tiongan said a piggery owner voluntarily allowed depopulation operation involving 177 hogs that showed signs of the disease.
Tiongan said that since the ASF virus was confirmed in Beckel, they conducted surveys for the implementation of the “1-7-10 Protocol” to contain the virus in the affected areas.
The “1-7-10 protocol” means that within one-kilometer radius from the site of infection or ground zero, hogs will be prohibited from entering or leaving the area, and the site will be depopulated.
Within the seven-kilometer radius, hogs would be under surveillance with restricted movements, and blood testing would be done.
For the 10-kilometer radius from ground zero, mandatory monitoring and reporting of swine disease occurrences shall be implemented.
The ASF in Benguet, according to Tiongan, emanated from pigs bought on line thru a seller in Pangasinan and delivered in the province in the last week of January by the seller who concealed the pigs in a pick up vehicle.
Tiongan said the local government units are coordinating with the DA for the assistance that will be given to the affected piggery owners such as the provision of indemnification fund to affected hog raisers.
Meanwhile, Benguet Provincial Police Office Director PCol. Elmer Ragay said the police have intensified checkpoint operations in the entry points of Benguet in support to the directive of Governor Melchor Diclas on the lockdown of the entry of live pigs to ensure that ASF infected pigs and meat will not again enter the province.
Ragay reported that the police checkpoints have been very helpful in helping the Benguet avert the ASF infection. The police help the quarantine teams of the local government unit and the Department of Agriculture in inspecting live pigs and meat products and not allowing the entry of those which lack proper papers and documentations. (JDP/RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis