LAOAG CITY – The province of Ilocos Norte is keeping an eye on pork prices as the dreaded African swine fever (ASF) has been confirmed in some villages in two eastern towns.
Dr. Loida Valenzuela, provincial veterinarian, said pork prices remain stable amid the culling of 1,609 hogs within critical zones or those which are located within 500 meters from four infected villages — Barangays Manalpac and Maan-anteng in Solsona and Barangays San Marcelino and Lipay in Dingras.
“Pork meat prices are stable. So, we are appealing to our concerned traders to be kind and not to take advantage in this time of need,” she said in an interview on Friday.
Pork meat in Ilocos Norte public markets sell between PHP230 and PHP240 per kilo.
The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has ongoing random sampling and slaughterhouse surveillance operations.
“There are still reports of mortalities as we have submitted blood samples in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan. Hopefully, the ASF indemnification fund of the Department of Agriculture will still cover for them if the results come out positive,” Valenzuela said.
The indemnification payout for every pig that contracts ASF is PHP5,000. It aims to encourage hog raisers to report their affected pigs, thereby controlling the spread of the virus.
Aside from the indemnity fund, local government units likewise provide livelihood assistance and food packs to affected farming families.
All mayors and village officials were also alerted to monitor the unusual mortality of pigs in their areas of jurisdiction and to stay vigilant in monitoring traders who must be accredited by the PVO when transacting business here. (PNA)