COTABATO CITY – Agriculture and veterinary officials in North Cotabato on Monday culled more than 100 hogs in at least three villages in Magpet to prevent the spread of African swine fever (ASF).
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Rufino Sorupia told North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco that more than 100 hogs believed infected with the virus have been discarded in the villages of Magcaalam, Ilian and Binay of Magpet town.
“More hogs are expected to be culled in the coming days,” Sorupia said.
Catamco said that while the battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) continues, the province now faces yet another virus.
“Despite our efforts to prevent the virus on hogs from entering North Cotabato with the establishment of hog quarantine checkpoints in our borders with Davao del Sur, Bukidnon and Maguindanao, the ASF still found its way to Magpet,” she said.
On Monday, Department of Agriculture Region 12 Director Arlan Mangelen has confirmed that the ASF is now in the province. Citing the initial investigation, Mangelen said a resident of Magpet has brought in “chorizo” meat products in one of the affected villages.
He said the department would pay owners of culled hogs according to the prevailing market price of live meat.
Catamco has called on barangay officials and the public to strengthen biosafety, hygiene, and sanitation standards in slaughterhouses, abattoirs, and public markets. Edwin Fernandez /PNA – northboundasia.com