Monday Nov, 29 2021 05:02:23 AM

ASF hits 2 villages in Mlang, North Cotabato

AGRICULTURE • 17:15 PM Mon Nov 8, 2021
Williamor Magbanua/DXND
Pork stalls at the Mlang public market are empty and only beef are available. (WM)

KIDAPAWAN CITY - An agriculture official in Mlang, North Cotabato has confirmed that at least 30 heads of hogs were culled after one of them was tested positive of African Swine Fever based on the laboratory results on Sunday afternoon.

Municipal agriculturist Arlene Encarnacion said the slaughtered hogs in the town's double A slaughterhouse were owned by the meat vendors and supposedly sold at the public market last Saturday.

But after several hogs have died for still unknown reason in Barangay New Antique and New Lawaan, the town agriculture office decided to take blood samples for laboratory exam.

Later the hogs were found to be positive for ASF.

In fact at least four puroks in both villages were considered as “ground zero” and observance of no movement policy of hogs within the 30 meters radius has been implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

Encarnacion said her office is also in close monitoring the situation of the adjacent villages of Dalipe, Lika, Katipunan, Inas, Bialong, Buayan and Bagontapay.

Blood samples were also collected in these places and brought to the laboratory in General Santos City for confirmation.

However, Encarnacion could not say as of yet if an outbreak of ASF is in effect. She said the only person who can declare so is the agriculture secretary or DA-12 regional director.

"While some hogs are confirmed to be positive of ASF in our town, we have to wait the official declaration from the department's top officials," Encarnacion said.

Stalls in the public market are now empty of pork products including processed pork while waiting for the results of the blood samples sent to General Santos City for confirmatory examination.

Mayor Russel Abonado, in an emergency meeting, suggested that additional blood samples will be collected in the adjacent villages from the ground zero in order to determine if indeed the virus has already penetrated in other areas in Mlang.

Abonado also issued an Executive Order directing all 37 barangay chairmen to strictly monitor the entry and exit of all hogs in their respective areas of responsibility and apprehend violators for possible filing of charges in court.

The mayor also warned the village officials to do their share or else they will face consequences before the court.

"We don’t want to see each other in court, so being a public servant do your work to prevent ASF in entering your barangay," Abonado said.

He also assured that financial assistance will be given to the affected hog raisers using the fourth quarter 30 percent Quick Response Funds, amounting to almost P5 million.

The mayor however said that in order to use the said fund there is a need to place the town under the state of calamity, thus he is requesting before the Sangguniang Bayan to consider the said declaration in their session on Wednesday. (WILLIAMOR A. MAGBANUA)

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