By John Noel E. Herrera
One more town in Iloilo province is suspected to have African Swine Fever (ASF) cases after some hogs in a barangay in New Lucena were reported to have symptoms of the disease, according to its Municipal Agriculture Office (MOA).
New Lucena Mayor Lucille Seville also said that two pigs from Barangay Badiang already died after showing symptoms of ASF, while 13 pigs were also immediately depopulated within the area.
Seville added that containment areas were already in place to prevent the spread of the disease in nearby barangays.
Seville also reminded all hog raisers to be responsible and follow the biosecurity measures based on the executive order of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.
The Iloilo Provincial Veterinary Office (IPVO) also went to the area to check and get blood samples of the pigs for testing.
If the samples are tested positive for ASF, New Lucena will be the sixth town in Iloilo province with confirmed cases of ASF.
To date, ASF cases in the province have already reached five towns so far, which include Oton, San Miguel, Leganes, Alimodian, and Santa Barbara being the latest, as PVO earlier announced that two hog heads out of six samples tested in one barangay yielded positive results.
The towns of Oton (26 affected barangays), San Miguel (two affected barangays), and Leganes (two affected barangays) were also declared “red zone” or infected areas as cases of ASF in these towns already reached two or more barangays.
Under the ASF zoning classifications, the movement of live pigs, pork, pork products (fresh/frozen products and uncooked processed pork products, except cooked and canned processed pork products), and swine genetic materials in and out of the towns identified as “red zone” is prohibited.
Data from IPVO also indicated that over 700 hog heads in Oton, 195 in San Miguel, 80 in Leganes, and 57 in Alimodian have already been depopulated.
ASF has also affected 83 hog farmers in Oton, nine in San Miguel, five in Leganes, three in Santa Barbara, and one in Alimodian.
Meanwhile, the Iloilo City Government started to mobilize different barangays as ASF cases in the province are getting closer to the city.
Iloilo City agriculturist Iñigo Garingalao emphasized that the situation of ASF should also be at the barangay level and there is a need “to strengthen community efforts to prevent its spread.”
Mayor Jerry P. Treñas has also ordered strong border control and checkpoints to monitor the movement of live pigs, pork, and meat products entering the city.
“Bantayan ta. We continue to work with the Department of Agriculture, we continue to coordinate with the province and waay na kita nagabaton to sa slaughter house ta sang mga halin sa affected nga municipalities,” Treñas also said.
The city government also added that it is important to check the Meat Inspection Certificate when buying pork products and to follow the protocols provided by the authorities.