Some 5,581 pigs from the areas affected by African swine fever (ASF) in the province were culled as of Feb. 26, according to the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET).
In a forum Wednesday, provincial veterinarian Dr. Jovito Tabarejos said the number might still increase because of the quick spread of ASF in the province.
"There were already 17 localities in Pangasinan that was hit by the ASF, including three cities," he said adding that 56 barangays in the province have been already affected by the virus.
Among the affected areas are the municipalities of Sual, Aguilar, Lingayen, Binmaley, Basista, Bayambang, Labrador, Mangatarem, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Malasiqui, Mapandan, Bayambang, Mangaldan, and Asingan, as well as the cities of Dagupan, San Carlos, and Urdaneta.
Despite the threat of ASF in the piggery industry of the province, Tabarejos, together with other concerned agencies, is hopeful the province can contain the virus.
"We trust that we can still prevent it because we have contained the virus from spreading last year where Mapandan and Bayambang towns were the first to be hit," he said.
Meanwhile, 60 to 70 percent of the barangays in Binmaley town are now affected by ASF that started sometime in January.
Tabarejos said there are some hog raisers in the area who illegally slaughtered their pigs despite the existing total ban of selling pork in the market.
He urged the public to participate with the authorities in preventing the spread of ASF and saving the piggery industry of the province.
"If you observed or noticed that there is ASF in your area, please report it immediately," he said.
Tabarejos said backyard hog raisers must observe and maintain biosecurity in piggeries, especially when feeding their pigs with swills.
"If they can't prevent feeding swills, they can cook it again to ensure that possible virus will be killed," he said.
SOURCE : PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY