AID FOR HOG RAISERS. The Department of Agriculture-Central Luzon has started distributing sentinel piglets in areas that were hit by African swine fever (ASF) in Pampanga province. Agripina Tuazon, Agriculturist II of the DA’s Livestock Program, said on Thursday (Aug. 3, 2022) the distribution is geared toward swine repopulation. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Agriculture-Region 3)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Department of Agriculture in Central Luzon (DA-3) has distributed sentinel piglets to hog raisers affected by the African swine fever (ASF) in this province.

Under the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) of the DA's National Livestock Program, the recipients were hog raisers from the towns of Apalit, Minalin, and Macabebe.

In Apalit, a total of 180 sentinel piglets were distributed to 60 hog raisers while 135 piglets each were received by a total of 90 swine raisers in Minalin and Macabebe.

Each hog raiser received three sentinel pigs.

Aside from this, the DA also provided disinfectants, antibiotics, and vitamins for the piglets.

Agripina Tuazon, Agriculturist II of the DA’s Livestock Program, said on Thursday the distribution of the sentinel piglets is geared toward swine repopulation.

Tuazon said the sentinelling project is an experiment to determine if the ASF virus is still present in the areas.

She said that the sentinel pigs will be closely monitored for months.

“Sana po sa pamamagitan ng mga baboy na ito, mag-tuloy-tuloy na tayong makabawi mula sa ASF at mapanatili ang pink zone status (Hopefully, through these piglets, we could eventually recover from ASF and remain under pink zone status),” Tuazon said in social media post.

As per ASF color-coding scheme, the “pink” zones serve as a buffer, where ASF is not present but adjacent to an infected zone. It may also be an area previously infected but the ASF virus has not been detected for at least 90 days and thus deemed recovered from infected status.

Meanwhile, Maria Beltrano, a hog raiser from Minalin, thanked the DA for the sentinel piglets, which she hopes could help revive their source of livelihood which was affected by ASF.

“Malaking tulong po ito upang makapagsimula kami muli kaya maraming maraming salamat po sa DA (It’s a big help so that we could start again, thus thank you very much to the DA),” Beltrano said. (PNA)