Caraga’s fight vs ASF pays off; region’s sentinel pig-raising shows virus clearing

DAVAO CITY—A dedicated focus in fighting the African Swine Fever has paid off in the northwestern Mindanao region of Caraga, with many affected areas already in the recovery and repopulation stage, after sentinel pig-raising indicated a cleared population of the virus.

Dr. Apple Jaromahum, ASF focal person of DA-Caraga, said the strong

“cooperation of OneDA family, local government units, and the public has started to pay off.”

“Here in our region, we are already experiencing progress in the fight against ASF because some of the affected areas are in recovery and on

repopulation stage,” she said.

She said affected raisers from previous areas had undergone training on biosecurity measures and upgrade of hog-raising techniques to level up management practices.

The Caraga region has been hit by the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus since November 2020, severely affecting pork supply. Initial cases were reported in Cortes, Surigao del Sur, followed by Loreto in Agusan del Sur, and San Miguel also in Surigao del Sur, and eventually affected other areas in the region.

Jekem Sanchez, livestock program coordinator, said the province of Dinagat Islands, Siargao Island, and Socorro in Surigao del Norte have remained in the green zone, or areas with no ASF case as of July this year.

While some areas remained under monitoring, the DA and other agencies have continued to strengthen strategies to ward off possible entry of the ASF virus.  In April 2022, the municipalities of Cortes, San Miguel in Surigao del Sur, and Loreto in Agusan del Sur were already declared ASF-free by the Bureau of Animal Industry after undergoing stringent measures of fighting off the virus and successfully fielding sentinel pigs in previously affected areas.

“Sentinel pigs are experimental in nature, wherein a previously affected area will be fielded with sentinel pigs for 40 days. If the pigs do not manifest any infection based on laboratory results, then it would lead to the ASF-Free declaration by BAI [for] which Cortes, Loreto, and San Miguel towns had qualified,” Dr. Jaromahum said.

An ASF-free declared area would then be given the go-ahead for repopulation, which means residents may raise swine but strictly follow the protocols on biosecurity measures to avoid re-emergence of the disease.

“This was the result of the cooperation extended by the residents on the stringent measures being implemented by their respective LGUs on following the protocol in the fight against the virus, to prevent the incessant spread of the virus to neighboring areas,” said Marcos M. Quico, provincial agriculturist of Surigao del Sur.

The DA, LGUs, the BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) have installed quarantine checkpoints at entry and exit points.

DA also implemented Bantay ASF sa Barangay (Babay ASF) Program which activates a biosecurity officer to extend technical assistance, including disease monitoring, surveillance, and control among commercial and backyard piggeries.

Under the hog repopulation program, DA-Caraga targeted 180 sentinel pigs to be distributed in the entire region this year. On July 7, Regional Director Ricardo M. Oñate brought his DA-Caraga team to distribute 13 sentinel pigs in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. The distribution would continue to the farmer-beneficiaries in areas with no more confirmed cases.

Jaromahum has encouraged backyard and commercial hog raisers to have their animal stocks insured with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to avail of insurance coverage from the agency.

She assured the public that it was safe to consume pork and pork  products as long as the hogs passed through the proper process of slaughtering and preparation and are certified by NMIS.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

Sarno sweeps gold medals in Asian Youth and Junior Championships

Next Article
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda

Salceda: Support for livestock, crops sectors vital

Related Posts