DA releases sentinel pigs to ASF-cleared areas

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said it has so far distributed 4,803 sentinel pigs to 1,306 farmers through its regional field offices this year.
The covered areas are part of the hog repopulation program as soon as they were cleared of African swine fever (ASF).
Sentinel pigs are those being monitored to find out if an infectious disease, like ASF, or other harmful agents are present.
“I know how hard for all of us that our host of interventions, our whole-of-nation approach, are repaid with unkind opinions and quick conclusions. Yet, we still try our best not to remain in this holding pattern. Not to be paralyzed by this virus,” Secretary William Dar said in a statement.
He said the DA and local government units (LGUs) are partners in the strict monitoring and surveillance protocols against ASF and research and technology, including the development of rapid test kits and field-testing of vaccines.
“ASF taught us to think forward to the future of livestock raising. We armed ourselves against future Transboundary Animal Diseases through the establishment of the Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases at the Central Luzon State University in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija,” Dar said.
DA said the Livestock and Poultry Information-Early Warning System gathers and consolidates important data on livestock and poultry commodities nationwide, tracking the effects of diseases, consumer behavior, and climate change on the supply and demand for livestock and poultry products.
“In terms of credit, we have loosened up credit facilities for our livestock raisers,” Dar added.
The agency has been training thousands of veterinarians, village biosecurity officers, and technical personnel since 2019 when the first case of ASF in the country was confirmed. (PNA)

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