African swine fever hits 203 villages in the Cordillera

TWO HUNDRED AND THREE barangay (villages) in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have been affected by the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) in the past two years.

Dr Cameron Odsey, Regional Director of the Cordillera Office of the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR), said over the weekend that the number of villages infected with African Swine Fever is 16% of the 1,178 barangay in the administrative region.

He added that for this year alone, some 247.5 million pesos have been earmarked by the agency for the ongoing pig production food aid program to carry out the government’s pig restocking programme.

The restocking program aims to restore stability in the supply and price of pork in local markets.

The DA-CAR official said that of the barangay infected with ASF, 46 are infected areas, 12 protected areas and 19 buffer zones.

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Odsey said proper depopulation had been carried out in the African swine fever infected barangay identified in the area, while disinfection had been completed at the pig farms where the African swine fever infected pigs were discovered.

Odsey said that the various provincial veterinary offices, in close coordination with their counterparts in the Ministry of Agriculture, are closely monitoring the presence of African swine fever in their respective areas of competence.

The collaboration aims to prevent outbreaks that could derail the government’s ongoing efforts to recover from the effects of the animal infestation on the region’s pig population and the stability of pork supply and prices in local markets. .

DA-CAR has provided financial and technical assistance to farmers heavily affected by the dreaded animal virus, including restocking their pig farms, to help them recover and bring back the vibrancy of the local pig industry to their localities. respective.

African swine fever is a deadly and contagious disease that has reduced pig production, devastated people’s incomes and caused malnutrition. It has spread across continents, from Africa to Europe, and now Southeast Asia.

This disease affects all wild and domestic pigs. Although African swine fever does not spread to humans, it has killed pigs raised in backyards and commercial farms around the world.

African swine fever in the Philippines has become a threat to more and more regions. By July 2019, it had spread to Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Luzon and Mindanao.

As the disease spread in the Philippines from 2019 to 2021, the country lost nearly $20 million per month. Locally, pork and chicken are the main meats, but pork is the most consumed meat in the country. In 2020, the average Filipino ate 14.9 kg of pork compared to 13.74 kg of chicken. Many Filipino dishes use pork.

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