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Scammers using ASF to scare Bunawan raisers into selling their hogs

Authorities have warned about hustlers going around unaffected barangays and pressuring backyard raisers into selling their hogs at bargain prices.

The city government has locked down barangays Lamanan and Dominga in Calinan District after laboratory tests confirmed that some hogs there were infected with the African Swine Flu (ASF).

Richel Zamora, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) XI training specialist, confirmed that they received reports from backyard raisers about being approached by somebody pretending from the government. They will then be introduced to a “buyer” who is willing to purchase the live pig for an unreasonably low price.

Zamora was one of the resource persons during the Livestock Forum and Public Consultation on the Proposed “Odor-Free Hog and Poultry Raising Ordinance in Davao City” last Saturday at Hotel Elena.

They also don’t buy pigs that weigh above 90 kilos because “these pigs don’t get affected by ASF,” which Zamora said is not true.

These people, according to him, would use the ASF outbreak as an excuse to take advantage of backyard raisers from the unaffected barangays.

For instance, he said that hog raisers from Bunawan District barangays, located in the northern part of the city, both Lamanan and Dominga are in the third district on the city’s southern portion.

When Zamora asked forum participants if they encountered the same problem, some of the residents confirmed the reports.

However, the government is still gathering data, although he said that they are collaborating with barangay officials to help monitor the concern.

Zamora said the government is doing its part in taking control of the situation by enforcing the 1-7-10 lockdown protocol and fixed checkpoints after confirming that there was ASF in the city.

Aside from that, they are already taking action against those who are taking advantage of the outbreak by profiteering from people.

He added that people should not let panic take over them, always be aware, and wait for the government’s instructions so that they won’t fall for such tricks.

“We already have problems concerning the ASF outbreak, they’re making things worse,” Zamora said.

Backyard raisers whose pigs would be culled will receive P1,500 for a piglet, P5,000 or P90 per kilo—depending on which is higher—and another P5,000 from the Department of Agriculture. Hog raisers should wait for the official announcement from the government first before they surrender their pigs for culling.

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