The Quezon City government has already culled over 3,000 pigs to prevent the spread of the African Swine Fever.
Dr. Ana Maria Cabel, chief veterinarian, said pigs were culled in barangays Payatas, Tatalon, Roxas, Pasong Tamo and Bagong Silangan.
She said they have to comply with the Department of Agriculture’s one-kilometer radius protocols that all pigs within the area must be culled to contain the disease.
On Thursday, about 300 pigs from Barangay Pasong Tamo were culled, while 160 others set for culling.
Culling operations are still ongoing in Payatas and Bagong Silangan, she said, adding that half of Bagong Silangan’s 5,000 pig population have yet to be culled.
“We are done in Roxas and Tatalon. Pasong Tamo will almost be through,” she said.
She said swill feeding could further spread the disease to other areas.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, blamed the the government for failing to keep ASF out.
“The problem with the African Swine Fever we have today is a result of government neglect,” said Pangilinan, a former food security secretary.
“Government should be able to impart safe, proper, and effective pig-raising techniques to local farmers. It should be able to inspect pigpens for regular cleaning and disinfecting,” he said.
On World Animal Day, celebrated annually on the feast day of Francis of Assissi, the patron of animals, Pangilinan called for proper care and treatment of animals, not just pets.
“We should thank our pigs for the food on our table, but even if this is their role in life, it doesn’t mean that we should not care for them properly,” said Pangilinan, who himself raises hogs for sale.
“This planet is home to us as much as it is to animals. What happens to them affect us. Animals deserve our love and caring,” he added.
Pangilinan called on local governments to consult with veterinarians and specialists on the most humane way of culling infected pigs, and for proper handling of dead hogs, so as not to spread the disease.
The senator also urged local government units to set aside funds to put up and maintain animal shelters in cities and municipalities that will house stray or abandoned pets.
In Batangas City, the hog industry launched “Eat Pinoy Pork” as part of its “Porktober Fest” campaign to assure residents that it is safe to eat pork from the province.
The event drew more than 400 participants for a meal where lechon or roast pig and other meat products were served up on banana leaves on long tables set up in several tents.
Residents in Mangaldan, Pangasinan held a similar event to boost the sale of pork products, which have suffered a decline in sales due to the ASF scare. With PNA