Albay records more ASF –infected hogs

By Mar S. Arguelles


More African Swine Flu (ASF) cases were recorded in Albay with 109 hogs in Malinao town culled after they were tested positive for the disease, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) said recently.


The latest detected cases brought to 857 the total number of hogs in the province that were depopulated to prevent the spread of the ASF disease, affecting 163 hog farmers, Dr. Pancho Mella, PVO chief, said.


Mella said the ASF affected villages in Malinao are Barangays Payahan with 58 pigs culled, Estancia - 36 and Balza – 15.


Mella said veterinary technicians who conducted the surveillance and testing had declared Barangay Payahan and Estancia as the epicenter of ASF cases in the town.


He said two villages were declared the Ground Zero site, which would serve as a point of reference for determining the quarantine surveillance and control zone base on the 1-7-10 protocol as biosafety measures.


To prevent the spread of the disease, they advised backyard hog raisers within the 500 meters radius of the affected village to subject their pigs to ASF examination and once tested positive, to submit them for depopulation.


With the detection of the ASF cases, Malinao town was placed on lockdown where the entry and exit of live pigs and meat products are prohibited.


The PVO chief said seven towns hit by ASF were placed on Red Flag Zone areas. These include the towns of Pioduran, Polangui, Oas, Daraga, Bacacay, Malinao, and Ligao City.


Mella explained that under the “red” flag banner, it means that thetown is declared on lockdown, where the entry and exit of hogs and other processed meat from the area are prohibited to prevent the spread of ASF.


He said the provincial Task Force ASF has stepped up its campaign by setting up ASF checkpoints in the Albay-Camarines Sur boundaries in Barangay Matacon, Polangui and Libon.


Mella said the strict implementation of the checkpoints prevented the entry of live pigs and other meat products in Albay from areas with affected ASF.


He said there are some 60,000 hogs in Albay, 90 percent of which are from backyard raisers while only 10 percent are raised on a commercial scale.