African swine fever

New ASF outbreak in Lanao del Norte threatens Northern Mindanao again

Froilan Gallardo

PIGS. File photo of hog livestock.

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Agriculture officials say biosecurity measures have been set up around the green zone and adjoining barangays to monitor the spread of the virus

A new outbreak of the African swine fever (ASF) decimated more than 200 pig stocks in the towns of Maigo and Bacolod in Lanao del Norte, agriculture officials said on Friday, November 12.

Dr. Julesben Maquiling, Department of Agriculture ASF unit chief for Northern Mindanao, said a one-kilometer green zone has been established as of Thursday, November 11, in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Maigo town, and Barangay Liangan East in Bacolod town to prevent the spread of the highly-contagious disease affecting hogs.

Maquiling said more than 44 backyard farmers, who depended on the pigs for food and income, have been affected by the latest outbreak.

“Most of these farmers raised two or three pigs as safety nets in times of hardships,” Maquiling said.

Maquiling said agriculture workers culled 127 hogs in Barangay Sta. Cruz and another 107 hogs in Barangay Liangan East.

He said the towns of Maigo and Bacolod have raised P2,000 for each culled hog to help the farmers.

Maquiling said the provincial government of Lanao del Norte also added another P2,000-aid to the farmers.

DA regional director Carlene Collado said the new ASF outbreak was detected after serum tests on the ailing pigs were sent to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Cagayan de Oro.

Collado said biosecurity measures have been set up around the green zone and adjoining barangays to monitor the spread of the virus.

The spread of ASF waned in May after agriculture officials set up quarantine checkpoints and foot baths along the highways.

At its height in February, more than 2,000 hogs in Lanao del Norte, and adjoining Misamis Oriental were culled by agriculture officials. –Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.