DA urges public to help WV keep ASF-free status

The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas encouraged the public to help prevent the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the region and to protect its P20-billion hog industry.

DA-6 regional executive director Remelyn Recoter said that Western Visayas remains to be in the “green zone” and free from the dreaded ASF.

“I am encouraging everyone to help us in the campaign to maintain our status as an ASF-free region,” she said.

She urged the public to report or provide information if there are suspicious deaths of animal population, particularly pig stocks, in their areas.

Likewise, everyone is enjoined to cooperate and conform to the executive orders and provincial ordinances being implemented by the local government units.

Recoter also reminded the public to refrain from purchasing and selling pork and processed pork products online.

Meanwhile, according to Dr. Jonic Natividad, DA Regional Focal Person on ASF, as of February, the region’s hog inventory indicated 1,244,118 heads from backyard and commercial farms.

Apart from the impending threats of the hog virus, the sector is also hampered by the unavailability of low-cost feeds, price fluctuation of live hogs, lack of logistic and infra support, and the limited production area for yellow corn as the main ingredient in feed formulation. (PIA-6)