African Swine Fever (ASF) is subsiding but the threat is still there, Agriculture Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan said on Tuesday, October 24.
“We should not be complacent about it,” said Ampatuan, who was in Bacolod City for the opening of the 9th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress.
A vaccine against ASF, the highly contagious and deadly viral disease that affects domestic pigs, is needed, he said.
He said the effects of ASF on the country’s hog industry has been very, very serious, recovering from it could take another year.
The Negros Occidental Provincial Veterinary Office has started identifying farmers for pre-sentinelling, which involves disinfection and cleaning of pig pens, Dr. Placeda Lemana, provincial veterinarian, said.
Actual sentineling in Negros Occidental is targeted to start next year because they want to make sure that the province is not hit by a second wave of ASF, she said.
Sentinelling is a prelude to hog repopulation in areas hit by ASF. Sentinel piglets are placed in identified areas where there are no more reported cases of ASF to determine if they can survive and it is safe to repopulate pigs in the area.
Lemana said sentinelling in Negros Occidental is targeted to start next year.
She said Hinoba-an and La Castellana reported pig deaths in September and the cause is being determined.
It cannot be said that Negros Occidental is already ASF clear, she said.*