MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – Some 135 swine backyard raisers from San Quintin, Tayug, Natividad, Asingan, and Umingan towns have received sentinel hogs and feeds as part of the African swine fever (ASF) recovery program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the provincial government of Pangasinan.
In a phone interview on Monday, assistant provincial veterinarian Jovito Tabajeros said each of the backyard raisers whose swine were then affected by ASF received three pigs and 11 bags of feeds worth PHP50,000 under the sentineling program.
“The sentinels will be observed for about 90 to 120 days and then will be tested. If the tests turn negative, then the area will be declared free and they can start hog repopulation,” Tabajeros said.
He said the sentinel animals will undergo a 40-day observation period under their assistance.
Prior to the sentineling program, backyard hog raisers have already prepared for the ASF recovery program by cleaning and disinfecting the areas where the sentinel hogs would be placed.
The DA provided the ASF test kits, along with reader and laboratory equipment, power sprayers, ASF responder kits, and disinfectants.
“One month for disinfection and 20 days (of) environmental swabbing to know if it is already safe to put sentinel pigs in these areas. And now, we could already start with the process of sentinel (animal testing),” Tabajeros said.
The program will be extended to other hog raisers affected by ASF in other districts of Pangasinan.
He said there are a total of 116 clusters in the towns of Agno, Anda, Bani, Bolinao, Dasol, Infanta, Binmaley, Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Mangatarem, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Mangaldan, Asingan, Natividad, Umingan, and San Carlos City.
Tabajeros confirmed that no new ASF case has been recorded in the province.
In an interview during his visit to Pangasinan last year, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said about PHP38.2 million has been allotted for the repopulation program in the province following the ASF outbreak.
Dar said the process of declaring an area as ASF-free has been reversed. Instead of the DA, the local government units would now confirm first if the area is no longer ASF-affected. (PNA)