Bontoc, Mountain Province – As an immediate intervention of the rise in African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in the municipality, the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region (DA- CAR) in partnership with the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAg) and the Provincial Government of Mountain Province through the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) conducted a sample collection in Barangays Bontoc Ili and Samoki on February 17, 2022.
Veterinarian I Urchris Doyayag of Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) of the DA-CAR collected blood samples for laboratory testing.
Doyayag mentioned that the DA-CAR immediately provides assistance to municipalities or provinces that record positive cases of ASF.
According to Agricultural Technician II Sheryl Tumingeb, a total of seven blood samples were collected including two in Sitio Mag-eo, one in Sitio Pokisan, and one in Sitio Chakalan, Bontoc Ili while two samples were collected in Barangay Samoki.
Tumingeb also reported that the result of one pig tested last February 15, 2022, in Sitio, Cheppay, Poblacion came back negative while the OMAg is still waiting for the result for the blood sample collected on the pig located in Sitio Mag-eo, Bontoc Ili on February 17, 2022.
Aside from the assistance in the diagnosis of ASF in the affected barangays, Agriculturist II Jennifer Soposop of the DA-CAR turned over 40 Rapid Test Kits for ASF to the Bontoc LGU on the same day.
Further, Municipal Agriculturist Renato Falag-ey and Administrative Officer Zenith Rose Dalog received the test kits on behalf of Mayor Franklin Odsey who had an equally important appointment.
According to the DA, the rapid test kits utilize nucleic acid-based tests. It has a built-in DNA extraction and molecular amplification process that utilizes primers or markers, whose gene sequence was designed from the P72 gene of the ASF virus isolated from the province of Rizal.
In fact, it can detect the presence of ASF even through surface swabbing of pig barns and saliva, and nasal swabs.
Meanwhile, Mayor Odsey extended his utmost gratitude to the DA-CAR for their support as the municipality’s local hog-raisers suffer losses as an effect of the ASF.
“It is saddening that another virus is affecting the livelihood of our local hog raisers while still battling with the COVID-19 pandemic. We assure the intervention and assistance of the Bontoc LGU through the (OMAg), DA, and our other partner agencies to minimize economic losses and prevent the spread of the virus. On behalf of the people and the officialdom of Bontoc, we sincerely thank the DA-CAR, the Provincial Government of Mountain Province through the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, and the Universal Robina Corporation for their logistics and technical assistance in our effort to contain this ASF virus. Time and again, during crisis, our united efforts have proven very effective in solving/ containing every problem that beset our Ili ay Kalalaychan. I enjoin everyone to maintain this noble tradition of Og-ogfo”, Odsey added.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health, African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and production losses. This transboundary animal disease (TAD) can be spread by live or dead pigs, domestic or wild, and pork products; furthermore, transmission can also occur via contaminated feed and fomites (non-living objects) such as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives, equipment etc., due to the high environmental resistance of ASF virus. Currently there is no approved vaccine for ASF. //