ASF affects over P50-M worth of swine stock in Ilocos Norte
LAOAG CITY — The African swine fever (ASF) which has been affecting hogs in Ilocos Norte since June, wiped out over P50 million worth of swine stock, according to local officials Saturday.
The disease, which first ravaged hogs in the eastern towns of the province, hit at least 868 local farmers from the towns of Solsona, Marcos, Nueva Era, Dingras, Vintar, Banna, Carasi, and Piddig, the provincial veterinary office (PVO) said.
So far, at least 23 villages in the entire province had been classified as ASF red zones due to the soaring number of infections, added the PVO.
Dr. Loida Valenzuela, Ilocos Norte veterinarian, said Friday that it had come to a point where the spread of ASF in the province had become harder to control than COVID-19 due to inadvertence and the lack of cooperation from some local hog raisers.
In August, Ilocos Norte farmers led by the Alyansa dagiti Mannalo iti Ilocos Norte, the provincial chapter of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, appealed to the provincial government and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for expanded testing to locate more ASF-infected hogs in the province.
The farmer’s group also appealed that affected hog raisers be given sufficient and quick indemnification and alternative livelihood so they could recover losses from massive culling.
They also asked the government to employ a responsible and humane way of culling hogs.
Due to the spread of the virus, Ilocos Norte meat prices dropped from the average P220 to P260 per kilo down to P125 to P130, the provincial government earlier said.
In Ilocos Sur province, at least 16 areas were also under ASF red zones, according to the DA tracker.
Local producers and sellers of the popular pork delicacies ‘bagnet’ (fried pork belly) and ‘longganisa’ (sausage) in the capital city of Vigan are already relying on buffer stock to ensure that they would have a steady supply of hogs to process, according to provincial board member Efren Rafanan.
Due to the threat of ASF in the province, Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis Singson ordered through an executive order the freezing of live weight prices of hogs to P170 per kilo.
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