Two municipalities in Benguet infected with ASF

Provincial veterinary office chief Dr. Meriam Tiongan received confirmation that laboratory test samples from piggeries at Camp 1, Tuba and Beckel, La Trinidad tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).

The owner of a commercial piggery in Barangay Camp 1 voluntarily asked for the pigs to be culled and buried to prevent the disease from spreading. Tiongan said that the owner immediately reported the case, afraid to be criticized for causing the virus to arise in town. After a pig tested positive for the ASF virus, the other 177 pigs were de-populated. Authorities suspected that the virus in Camp 1 came from swill feed (aka kanin baboy) that the owner got from a restaurant in Baguio. The pigs were said to be Vietnamese pigs that are similar to native boars and local breeds. 

Meanwhile, in Beckel, La Trinidad, a set of pigs was brought by a police officer who transported more than 50 heads of swine that he purchased online and he picked up from Pangasinan. Despite not having necessary permits and clearances to transport animals, he was able to pass through quarantine checkpoints as he carried them in covered ordinary pickup trucks. He said cull all the pigs after one out of 11 pigs died while others started showing signs of ASF. 

The authorities are now working on declaring a total ban on the entry of live pigs to the area and once the order is released, only imported frozen meat with certifications from ASF-free countries will be authorized to enter. Certain roads and highways are also currently being controlled by the authorities.

Tiongan added that they are now finding ways to avoid further contamination, one of which is the 1-7-10 protocol. This rule means within a 1-kilometer radius from suspected farms, there will be quarantine checkpoints while within a 7-kilometer radius, monitoring and limitation on animal movement will be conducted, and within a 10-kilometer radius from infected farms, farm owners are required to immediately report to the Department of Agriculture if any disease arises.  

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