THE African swine fever (ASF) may have already reached Santa Catalina town in Ilocos Sur, according to Mayor Edgar Rapanut.
The mayor said he received reports that there were ASF cases in Barangay Pantay Fatima in Vigan City, which was just 500 meters away from the barangay (villages) of Cabittaongan and Cabuloan in Santa Catalina.
The provincial Department of Agriculture (DA) office has confirmed the presence of ASF cases in Vigan City, particularly in Pantay Fatima village. Nine blood samples, taken from hogs in farms in Pantay Fatima, have tested positive for ASF.
Rapanut said the probability was high that hogs in Santa Catalina had already been affected by the ASF disease. He said around 300 pigs were set to be tested for the disease through the assistance of the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry.
“We are hoping that the outcome will be negative for the ASF disease,” Rapanut said.
The mayor said if these pigs turned out positive for the disease, they would be immediately culled or buried, but if the tests turned negative, they have to be sold immediately for consumption before they get infected.
Meanwhile, Santa Catalina livestock inspector Jojo Resclusado said they were now coordinating with the provincial government of Ilocos Sur and other government agencies to mitigate the effects of ASF in the province.