Sunday, September 25, 2022

Ilocos Norte Starts Hog Repopulation In ‘Pink Zones’


Ilocos Norte Starts Hog Repopulation In ‘Pink Zones’


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The provincial government of Ilocos Norte has started distributing sentinel piglets in areas declared as “pink” zones after more than a year of battling the African swine fever (ASF).

Provincial veterinarian Loida Valenzuela said Wednesday that 15 hog raisers in Pasuquin town received three sentinel piglets each while 135 piglets more are set to be given to 45 other recipients in Solsona town.

“We are just waiting for the laboratory results,” said Valenzuela.

She added that the selected areas for the program are those in the buffer zone, where ASF disease is not present but adjacent to an infected zone or an area previously infected but the virus has not been detected for at least 90 days and thus has recovered from infected status.

According to Valenzuela, the first batch of sentinel piglets came from the province’s breeding station in Pasuquin town, and the recipients who requested it underwent a thorough evaluation. To assist the qualified hog raisers, each recipient also received one sack of animal feeds courtesy of the provincial government.

She reiterated that hog raisers whose farms are located within the 500-meter radius of the previously affected ASF zone will not be allowed to start hog repopulation until they are cleared based on laboratory test results.

Aside from the establishment of animal quarantine checkpoints on border highways of the province to monitor the entry of undocumented meat and other processed food products, the Ilocos Norte government through the Provincial Veterinary Office deployed barangay biosecurity officers (BBOs) to its 559 villages to further strengthen the province’s efforts to contain ASF.

The BBOs serve as front-liners of the Bantay ASF program which may include community- or village-based animal technicians, barangay animal health workers, barangay livestock aides, or any person assigned by the municipality or city at the barangay. (PNA)

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