LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The Department of Agriculture – Cordillera has boosted its campaign to deter the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the region through intensification its partnership with local swine raisers and industry stakeholders.

Dr.Karl Kigis, the regional ASF focal person in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), said that a strong working partnership with the farmers and the industry stakeholders is necessary and critical in the successful implementation of community quarantine protocols and in monitoring and control of ASF in affected areas.

He added that the collaboration among the stakeholders from the government and private sector is necessary for solving problems particularly the lack of technical personnel.

To date, at least 55 recorded ASF cases in the region covering sixty-six (66) barangays in 16 municipalities is seen to be adversely affecting the 1,074 hog raisers.

Based on the latest hog inventory, the recorded swine mortalities accounts to a 3.26 % loss to the local swine industry of the region.

Kigis also cited the Regional Advisory Committee for Animal Disease Control and Emergency (RAC-ADCE) has been a key factor in strengthening provincial and agency coordination with regards to ASF.

Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Dumapis, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in Benguet State University (BSU) and the chairperson of RAC-ADCE, said that their college is willing to augment technical services through their student interns in providing support on surveillance and monitoring ASF in the region.

“The student interns will be a great help in the work like disease investigation and sampling, and to aid in data analyses and related studies to have a situational report for the region,” he said.

He said that fieldwork and exposure will serve as a learning laboratory for students to do hands-on field activities and harness skills that cannot be had in the classroom. It gives them a chance also to build rapport with local livestock raisers.

“Government agencies and private groups should be working together to achieve the national goals, the government cannot do this alone and we need a partnership with other stakeholders to control the spread of the virus,” he added.

Dr. Dumapis eyes for the possible collaboration between the DA and the BSU-CVM in the conduct of researches that can be helpful to local livestock raisers.

He also appreciates the department’s efforts in informing the public about its programs and projects that serves as an avenue where they can get involvement on research and other possibilities.

Meanwhile, Philippine Veterinary and Medical Association (PVMA) – CAR Chapter and private sector partners pledged their support to the advocacy efforts against ASF.

The Inter-Regional Coordination with Regions I, II, and III have always been open with constant information being shared particularly on recent cases of ASF or probable shipment violations.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture- Cordillera (DA-CAR).