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All hogs in affected barangay Inayangan culled; decontamination to start

No more hogs are left to be culled in the hotspot areas for the African swine fever in Barangay Inayangan in the city’s third district.

Noel Provido, chief of the Department of Agriculture’s Regional Agriculture and Fishery Information Section XI, told reporters in an interview yesterday that decontamination and disinfection will follow after the first stage, which is depopulation.

Inayangan was the third barangay that tested positive for ASF, following barangays Lamanan and Dominga. More than 2,300 hogs were culled in the two barangays, affecting 536 farmers.

“All we have to do is to decontaminate per the protocol. After the culling operation, there will be a
30-day disinfection and decontamination,” he said.

The decontamination, he said, will include the disposal of the feeds and (piggery) equipment used in raising the culled and infected hogs.

“We have allocated funds for disinfection (disinfectants) for the hog raisers,” he said.

The DA XI and the City Veterinarian’s Office depopulated the hogs in Inayangan last Feb. 23 to 25, with a total of 2,089 culled hogs affecting 411 farmers.

Provido said these farmers were already compensated by the city government. The DA is still waiting for their requested fund to be released to assist the farmers.

After the 30-day decontamination and disinfection, they will start to distribute sentinel pigs. They will be observed for six weeks, wherein the hogs will be taken blood samples every two weeks.

“Once the blood sample test results negative, that is the time that we could say that it is safe (to breed) again,” he said.

However, Provido said that even the depopulation of the ASF-infected hogs had already been completed, “that doesn’t mean we are putting our guard down.”

“Our quarantine measures will continue, (particularly) the entry and exit points (in the city). Our monitoring and surveillance will also go on. And hopefully, we would no longer have confirmed cases of ASF,” he said.

“The government will be there. We will give assistance,” he said, noting that if they still could not go resume raising hogs, they can secure a loan to start another business.

“They can take out a loan from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council,” he said.

Farmers are allowed to loan a maximum amount of P30,000, which is payable in three years with zero interest. The farmers can directly go to the DA XI office and also conduit banks.

“We have a loan officer lodged at the DA regional office who will assist them,” he said.

This, he said, will enable the farmers to go into another livelihood like “goat production, poultry production, or vegetable production.” “This will be their livelihood alternative while they are still waiting for the time that they will be allowed to raise and produce hogs again in their communities,” he said.

Biosecurity zones

Meanwhile, the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) urged the establishment of permanent inspection and disinfection stations in the region amid to contain the infection.

During its second board of trustees meeting last Feb. 20, the DCCCII officers and trustees passed a resolution to discuss the proposal with the DA to mitigate the harm caused by ASF to the livestock, poultry, and crops.

DCCCII Vice President for Industry Cherrylin Casuga said there is a need for biosecurity to protect crops and livestock.

The added security would help prevent the spread of the disease and help farmers and livestock growers.

“This is a good way of containing the possible spread of such virus. The earlier we contain these outbreaks, the better for our agribusiness companies,” she said.

DCCCII president John Carlo Tria said they will send a copy of a resolution to the DA Secretary William Dar as they intend to work closely with the agency.
Warren Elijah E. Valdez and Nicole Burlas

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