Freeman Cebu Sports

Carcar hog raisers covered by cull order to get aid

Robhe Jane C. Yara - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Hog raisers whose pigs will be included in the culling order by the Carcar City government due to the ongoing African Swine Fever (ASF) infestation in the city will receive financial assistance.

In an interview with The Freeman Saturday, March 11, Mayor Patricio Barcenas said the city would provide at least P6,000 to P7,000 (based on a 60-kilo pig weight ratio) financial assistance to the affected hog raisers.

The cash amount would vary depending on the size or weight of the pig.

The possibility of giving financial help to pork product vendors is also being studied.

Barrens met with the city's ASF task force, comprising veterinarians from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development Central Visayas (DSWD-7) Friday.

Barcenas recently ordered the total culling of pigs within the affected areas and its 500-meter radius to contain the spread of the ASF virus, citing some pigs still tested positive for ASF in the infected areas.

Culling is when animals in disease-endemic areas, infected or not, are slaughtered to prevent further disease spread.

As of Friday, the city has culled around 300 pigs.

To recall, Barcenas said they first knew reports of several pig deaths in the city during the first week of February this year, adding they tested at least 150 hogs, and 30 came back positive for ASF. He said three out of 15 barangays are heavily affected.

But he said the number of pigs getting positive for the disease had already decreased compared to last month.

Though he said they contained the virus within the three barangays, he decided it was best to do culling to eradicate it for good.

"Naa gihapu'y panagsa mu positive (pigs on ASF) unya og pasagdahan nimo possible gyung mukatag. Maong naka decide nalang ko mag-culling arun limpyo ba," said Barcenas.

[Some pigs still tested positive for ASF. And if we do not remain vigilant, it could spread to more areas. So, I decided it is best to do culling to completely wipe out the virus.]

He added that they continue disinfecting backyards, particularly within the ground zero.

Barcenas also narrated how the disease hit big, especially among pork product sellers, stressing that at least 30 percent of the livelihood in the city comes from hog raising and selling pork-related products.

He also urged hog raisers to tell the truth and report if their pigs are ill to be tested and culled, ensuring them that the city government would do its best to help them by providing ample cash aid.

"Padayun lang atung negosyo (pork vendors) unya di ta angay mahadlok nga ato gyud ning ipasabot sa atung mga customer nga di ta angay mahadlok kana sa pagkakarun ato gyud diha gipang-ihaw kuan limpyu gyud na," said Barcenas.

"Ang ato ra gyung gi cordon ani  ang atong mga stock nga dili ta makakatag, di mokatag tibuok Carcar ug maunsa mao ni atuong gihimo karon na measure nga ato gyung gipugngan, giistrikto gyud nato," he added. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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