GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 22 October) – Another coastal village in Glan town, Sarangani province has recorded confirmed cases of the African Swine Fever (ASF), bringing the areas affected by the outbreak of the dreaded animal disease to four as of Thursday.
Virginia Musa, Glan municipal agriculture officer, said the monitoring and culling of affected hogs in Barangay Cablalan was ongoing after at least four animals in the area tested positive of the disease last Tuesday.
She said the laboratory confirmation was issued by the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory here.
“We have so far culled at least 64 heads and we’re continually monitoring other sites for possible suspected cases,” she said in a phone interview.
On Thursday, she said their personnel collected samples from hogs in Barangay Baliton, which is close to Cablalan, due to the emergence of suspected cases.
Cablalan, which is located at the southern part of the municipality and close to its borders with Jose Abad Santos town in Davao Occidental, is the fourth barangay in the area that recorded confirmed cases of ASF.
A total of 97 hogs were culled last July 30 in Barangay Pangyan, the first site that recorded the outbreak. Some 40 heads were also culled in Batulaki on Aug. 21 and 16 in Calpidong on Oct. 5.
Musa said they immediately recommended the culling of all hogs in the concerned barangays after the confirmation of the ASF cases to prevent them from further spreading.
She said the culled hogs were all from backyard farms and the disease might have spread from contaminated swill previously fed to them.
Citing their investigation, she said the outbreak in Pangyan was traced from pork products brought in by local traders from nearby towns of Davao Occidental, which reported the first ASF outbreak in Mindanao in late January.
She said a trader from Batulaki reportedly transported contaminated pork by motorcycle and sold them to consumers in Pangyan and nearby areas.
Musa said the local government already released initial financial assistance to the affected hog raisers through assistance from the South Cotabato Swine Producers Association, a group of commercial hog producers operating in this city, Sarangani and South Cotabato.
She said they are currently processing the release of the indemnification from DA that entitles affected farmers to a financial assistance of P5,000 per adult hog and P800 for the weanling.
“Right now, we’re doing everything to contain this outbreak and we’re doubly working to protect our hog farms in the other barangays,” she said.
Glan, which has a total of 31 barangays, is mainly producing pork through backyard farms. The municipality has one commercial farm based in Barangay Padidu. (MindaNews)