SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – There is a need to protect Antique’s hog industry as the province is one of Western Visayas’ main suppliers of swine products to Luzon, particularly Metro Manila.
In a virtual press conference on Friday, Governor Rhodora Cadiao said the public should support the campaign of the Provincial Veterinary (ProVet) to maintain the status of Antique as African swine fever (ASF)-free by not bringing in or transporting pork-based products from Luzon and Mindanao areas where there are cases.
“Let us not be complacent because our province is one of the main sources of hogs for Metro Manila,” she said.
She said the Antiqueños should have to adhere with the Provincial Ordinance Number 2020-242, which prohibits the carrying, transport, and trading of pork and pork-based products anywhere in the country affected by ASF.
Dr. Marco Rafael Ardamil, of the ProVet, in a separate interview, said last year’s data of the Department of Agriculture Regional Office 6 showed that Antique ranked fifth in terms of the hog population in the region. Most of the hogs in the province are backyard-raised.
“As of December 2020, we had 2,654 heads of sow,” he said, adding that the hog population is computed based on the number of sows.
“Each sow could then bear 10 piglets twice a year,” he said.
To protect the hog industry, the ProVet with the support of the local police has already resumed the conduct of random highway border control or checkpoint, especially in the northern part of Antique, he said.
“Since May 1, we have resumed the border control so we could inspect the cargoes coming in through the roll-on roll-off facility from Caticlan, Aklan,” he said.
Ardamil added that the border control was temporarily suspended from April 5 to April 17 because of the surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in the province. (PNA)