TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, June 19 (PIA) - An official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) here said they will strengthen its coordination with their partner agencies and stakeholders to ensure that Philippines is African Swine Fever (ASF) free country.
Regional Technical Director for Operations Roberto Busania said there is a need for immediate action from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), local government units and the private sector to conduct inspection of canned processed meat products sold in groceries and outlets region-wide.
He said goods exported to the country since last year could be possible carrier of ASF.
In the Cagayan Valley Region alone, Busania said there are a total of 453,000 hogs that might get affected once ASF threat is ignored.
Although ASF do not have a direct impact to one's health, according to Dr. Manuel Galang of the Animal Health Welfare Unit here, it has an adverse effect in the hog industry and it can damage all hog stocks in the country like what happened in China, Mongolia, Vietnam and other countries.
Hog growers are advised to be vigilant and observant on the behavior and characteristics of their hogs especially when bleeding, reddish skin, high fever followed by dullness, difficulty in breathing , vomiting, coughing, nasal and ocular discharge are evident.
Any possible occurrence of said symptoms should be reported to the nearest agriculture or veterinary office for immediate action.
Coleen Ballinan, who has more than 20 sows with around 200 piglets said hog raising is a lucrative business.
"I am afraid of the possible entry of ASF in the country but I trust the efforts of the DA to combat this," she said.
Ricky Butay, also a hog raiser said he is optimistic that the efforts of the department will ensure that the country will not be affected by the ASF, partculary the Cagayan Valley Region. (MDCT/GVB/With reports from DA-Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section/PIA 2-Cagayan)