LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Agriculture-Bicol (DA-5) has distributed 3,345 piglets in 23 municipalities in the region as part of its swine repopulation program that will help mitigate the impact of the African swine fever (ASF) epidemic.
In an interview on Monday, Lovella Guarin, DA-Bicol information officer, said the livestock program dubbed Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay ASF) targets to distribute 4,275 piglets to the hog raisers previously affected by ASF to propel the hog industry towards complete recovery.
“The piglets are being distributed to the beneficiaries from municipalities that had no reported ASF cases for at least 80 days. Ten municipalities in Camarines Sur, nine in Albay, one in Camarines Norte and three municipalities in Sorsogon already received the piglets. The hog raisers from Pili, in Camarines Sur were the latest recipients last Jan. 14 of the two-month-old piglets which were distributed at the local government unit (LGU) offices,” Guarin said.
She said 36 towns and cities are in the pink zones or are ASF-free, out of the 65 towns and cities that were reported with ASF from 2020 to 2022.
“Three heads of piglets were given to the smallholder or backyard hog raisers supported with six bags of feeds (three starter feeds and three grower feeds) to help them start anew in their livelihood. The rest are waiting for ASF-free declaration upon their submission of pertinent documents for zone progression, such as a copy of the municipal ordinance/executive order on the adoption of BaBay ASF Program, a copy of the farm registry of the municipality, a summary of the ASF history in the municipality (outbreaks, surveillance and disease control measures) and list of training on Swine Biosecurity attended by hog raisers and LGU staff,” Guarin said.
She noted that the BABay ASF program is being implemented in partnership with the LGUs, hog raisers’ groups and the private sector.
“The zero ASF incidence in Bicol is a result of the strict surveillance and monitoring efforts being conducted by the DA-Bicol in collaboration with the Bureau of Animal Industry, the provincial and municipal LGUs as well as barangay officials, hog raisers’ groups, and the private sectors involved in the swine industry,” Guarin said. (PNA)