City of San Fernando―The Pampanga swine industry has lost P150 million since the African swine fever virus broke out
, an all-time high compared to the previous years, an official said Tuesday.
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“Since August this year the losses have reached about P150 million and counting because of the low demand and poor sales,” said Trinidad Gonzales, spokesman of the Pampanga Swine Producers Association.
“The industry will collapse if this situation persists,” Gonzales said.
He said his group, with the help of the provincial government, had embarked on an information campaign for the public to know that Pampanga’s livestock was not infected by the ASF.
Pampanga is the third-largest producer of hogs in Central Luzon.
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As a way of helping the swine industry, the provincial government led by Gov. Dennis Pineda held Tuesday the first-ever “Pork Festival,” where 60 roast pigs, hundreds of kilos of tocino and hotdogs and barbecues were served during a boodle fight at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center.
The event, Pineda said, was part of the provincial government’s efforts to increase the level of awareness of the public that pork is safe for human consumption. He said ASF was not a communicable disease.
“It is safe to eat pork,” Pineda said but added that pork must be cooked properly before it is served.
The organizers of the “Pork Festival” invited speakers from line government agencies including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and the National Meat Inspection Service.
“We appeal to the media to be objective and balanced in reporting to prevent undue panic and to highlight the remedies and actions to mitigate the negative impact of ASF,” Gonzales said.
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