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No swine disease outbreak in Pangasinan — DA

Eva Visperas - The Philippine Star

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines — There is no more reported outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in Pangasinan.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar told local journalists on Thursday that Pangasinan, which is among the provinces hardest hit by ASF, is recovering from the swine disease.

Dar said he recommended during a meeting with local chief executives and hog raisers to continue monitoring hog farms that were affected by ASF.

He said if sentinel pigs or the initial batch of hogs used to repopulate farms would not be affected, it means the area could be removed from the ASF red or infected zone.

Dar said trading of pork could be allowed in areas classified as pink or buffer zone or yellow or surveillance zone.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is also keeping a close watch on the grant of import clearance under Executive Orders 133 and 134.

“We can see the almost 140,000 metric tons (imported pork) within the next three months… that will lower the prices,” Dar said.

Dar led the rollout of the swine repopulation, rehabilitation and recovery credit program and awarding of assistance to farmers affected by the swine disease in the province.

Undertaken through a partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines, the program has an initial funding of P12 billion. It offers loans of up to 100 percent for local government units and 70 percent for private companies.

Dar sought the support of local government units in the implementation of the repopulation program in areas with ASF cases.

He said the DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry is testing two prototype vaccines for ASF in 10 private companies.

“We are now in the stage of collecting blood samples to see if the antibodies of the vaccinated animals are increasing,” Dar said. – Cesar Ramirez

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