The government of Benguet has allowed the entry of live pigs again after Governor Melchor Diclas lifted the temporary ban on hogs he issued recently.
Diclas believed that the extensive effort of the Benguet Provincial Veterinary Office and the Municipal Agricultural Office of Tuba and La Trinidad and concerned barangays in conducting depopulation of African swine fever-affected hogs, as well as disease surveillance and information education campaign was enough to control the situation.
Diclas earlier issued executive order 2020-10 ordering a temporary ban on the entry of live hogs in the province due to threats of the ASF in Barangay Beckel, La Trinidad and Barangay Camp 1, Tuba and ordered the interagency ASF Task Force to strictly enforce the animal quarantine protocols and food safety measures in the province, specifically the major roads coming in and out of the province.
It can be recalled that the ASF virus has reached the province as confirmed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic Reference Laboratory, Bureau of Animal Industry. Samples obtained from a commercial piggery in Camp 1, Tuba and in Beckel, La Trinidad showed positive results for ASF virus.
Authorities revealed that contamination of the pigs started after a hog raiser purchased last month piglets that are infected with ASF from Pangasinan without necessary documents and permits from concerned government agencies since the transactions between the two parties, seller and buyer, were done via online only.
The Governor said the entry of ASF virus was due to unscrupulous shippers who resorted to deceitful acts such as the transport of undocumented pigs using private vehicles to evade checkpoints, fake documents and for not declaring their sources in order to bring in their commodities into the province.
Benguet Provincial Veterinarian Merriam Tiongan had to order depopulation of at least 192 pigs found within a one-kilometer radius from Barangay Beckel. She added that they also culled 32 pigs in Barangay Alno, La Trinidad, 177 pigs in Camp 6 and another 35 in Camp 1, both in Tuba, Benguet to make sure the alleged flu is contained.