KIDAPAWAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in the Soccsksargen Region (Region 12) has confirmed African swine fever (ASF) cases in at least three barangays in a hinterland town in North Cotabato.
In an interview, DA-12 Regional Director Arlan Mangelen identified these areas as Barangays Magkaalam, Ilian, and Binay – all in Magpet, North Cotabato.
Mangelen based his statement from the results given to them by veterinary experts from DA’s testing facility in General Santos City.
He said they were set to perform culling of pigs in these villages, including those located within a one-kilometer radius.
Reports reaching DA-12 showed that many backyard hog raisers in Magpet have started to slaughter their pigs for fear of not being able to sell pork products in the local markets.
“I urge hog raisers not to do that. It’s better that we cull their pigs so we could pay them based on the prevailing prices in the market,” said Mangelen.
In Kidapawan City, city veterinarian Dr. Eugene Gornez said his office has already implemented stricter monitoring of ASF checkpoints placed along the boundary of Kidapawan-Magpet, and Kidapawan-President Roxas, and all possible routes where ASF virus transmission could take place.
Gornez said that if they fail to contain the spread of ASF in the city, it can affect at least 10,000 pigs raised by backyard livestock farmers.
In an interview, Gornez urged all restaurants and carenderias in the city not to sell their left over food to people, especially those raising hogs.
“In all likelihood, the ASF is spread through left overs. We urge our restaurant owners to heed to our call for the sake of our swine industry,” said Gornez.