Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa told the public of the condition of African swine fever (ASF) in Laguna and the rest of CALABARZON, as well as of the Department’s interventions to ASF-affected farmers, on September 4, 2020, via a radio interview.
Director de Mesa reported that a total of P153,596,000 million worth of indemnification has already been distributed by the regional office to ASF-affected farmers.
“Aside from that, DA CALABARZON provides alternative livelihoods such as livestock modules that include cattle, goats, and poultry; and mushroom production packages so that they can still have income while being hit by this infectious virus,” the director said.
The regional office already depopulated a total of a total of 240 hogs from backyard farms in Calamba City, Calauan, Los Baños, Pangil, and Sta. Cruz as of September 4. Director de Mesa said DA’s depopulation protocol has been reduced by a radius of 500 meters.
Director de Mesa noted that the virus is highly contagious specially to sows, and that its mode of transmission is by moving of pigs or pork by-products, vehicles, and workers from an infected farm to a non-infected farm.
“While there are no human consequences, pigs can quickly contract the ASF virus that is why we should be very vigilant during transportation because there is no treatment or vaccine for this virus,” he said.
The regional director also announced that Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar tasked DA CALABARZON to issue ASF-free certificates to those cities, municipalities, or farms not infected by the virus. This will ensure that food supplies are moved more efficiently and securely from one uninfected area to another.
Towards the end of the interview, Director de Mesa enumerated ASF symptoms. He said the symptoms included loss of appetite, fever, and red blisters on the body and feet, and younger pigs were the first to get infected by this virus. With this information, he encouraged farmers to report immediately if they find any of these signs that occur on their farms.
“The faster you communicate to your local government units, through the city or municipal agriculture office, the faster we can respond and take action. With your cooperation, we can control the spread of this infectious disease,” the regional director said. • (MAP, DA-RAFIS)