ASF hits 2 Lanao del Norte towns

Province of Lanao del Norte (enclosed in red line). Map courtesy of Google

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 12 November) – Over 200 pigs have been culled in Maigo and Bacolod towns in Lanao del Norte to prevent the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in these areas, agriculture officials said Friday.

Dr. Julesben Maquiling, Department of Agriculture 10 chief of ASF unit, said a one-kilometer “Green Zone” had been established as of Thursday in Barangays Sta. Cruz in Maigo and Liangan East in Bacolod as additional control measure.

Maquiling said at least 44 backyard hog raisers who depended on the pigs for food and income have been affected by the latest outbreak.

“Most of these farmers raised two or three pigs as safety nets in times of hardships,” Maquiling said.

He said DA workers have culled 127 hogs in Barangay Sta. Cruz and 107 others in Barangay Liangan East.

He said Maigo and Bacolod have raised P2,000 for each hog that was culled to help the farmers.

The provincial government of Lanao del Norte added another P2,000 to cushion the economic impact, the official said.

DA 10 Regional Director Carlene Collado said the new ASF outbreak was detected after serum tests on the ailing pigs were sent to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Cagayan de Oro.

Collado said biosecurity measures have been set up around the “Green Zone” and adjoining barangays to monitor the spread of the virus.

Angie Cabig, DA Regional Information Officer said the Task Force ASF and the local government units were still monitoring the adjacent villages within the one-kilometer radius.

Cabig advised against feeding swill to pigs, as it is a source of the virus.

She added that effective July 1, the indemnity fund for hog raisers affected by ASF has been transferred from DA to the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. and supervised by the Department of Finance.

The spread of ASF waned last May after agriculture officials set up quarantine checkpoints and footbaths along the highways.

At its height last February, over 2,000 hogs in Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental were culled by agriculture officials. (Froilan Gallardo with a report from Richel V. Umel/MindaNews)