Pangasinan enforces protocol vs ASF

MAPANDAN, Pangasinan — The provincial government of Pangasinan is implementing the “1-7-10 protocol” of the Department of Agriculture to manage and control the African swine fever (ASF) from spreading.

This, after 15 of the 30 blood samples from hogs confiscated in Barangay Baloling here resulted positive of ASF as of Sept. 26.

“We are conducting culling to ensure ASF will not spread to hogs in other areas of the province,” provincial veterinarian, Dr. Jovito Taravejos said, in a phone interview Monday.

The 1-7-10 protocol means that in the one-kilometer radius from the site of infection or ground zero, hogs will be prohibited from entering and going out of the area, and eventually be depopulated.

For the seven-kilometer radius, swine would be under surveillance with restricted movements and blood testing would be undertaken.

For the 10-kilometer radius from ground zero, a mandatory monitoring and reporting of swine disease occurrences shall be implemented, said Jhonabeth Pajarillag, Bureau of Animal Industry regional veterinary quarantine officer, in a press conference on Saturday.

In a report from Provincial Information Office, it was learned that Roger Erpelo and Jaime Garcia, both swine traders and residents of Barangay Baloling in Mapandan town, transported hogs from Bulacan despite the existing temporary total ban on the entry of all live swine into the province.

Governor Amado Espino III issued on September 10 an executive order implementing the temporary total ban on the entry of all live pigs into the province following a report that Bulacan is positive of ASF.

Quarantine checkpoints were also put in place to ensure no entry of hogs in the province.

Garcia brought five pigs in Calasiao town, while Erpelo transported 60 hogs from Bulacan to Mapandan which were placed with existing 11 pigs inside his holding area, Espino said.

“All the 71 hogs of Erpelo were also disposed and buried inside his compound in Mapandan while the five pigs brought in Calasiao were disposed and buried at the material recovery facility of the town. These also underwent blood testing but were found out to be free from ASF infection,” Espino said.

“Dahil sa interest ng isang tao, maapektuhan ang hanapbuhay ng lahat ng hog traders at mga backyard piggery sa buong barangay (Because of a one person’s interest, the livelihood of everyone in the barangay and hog traders will be affected),” the governor lamented.

Meanwhile, Espino has urged local officials in the municipalities and cities, as well as barangay officials, to guard entry points in their jurisdictions to prevent illegal hog traders from bringing in ASF-affected swine.

“The province has been strictly manning the 11 animal quarantine checkpoints established by the provincial government in all major entry points of the province with the help of the police force, but illegal traders pass through “iskinitas” (alley) using various tactics to evade attention of authorities,” he said.

The provincial legal office is preparing to file cases against the illegal hog traders, while hog raisers have also signified their intention to file a case. Hilda Austria / PNA –