The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Provincial Government of Pangasinan led the launching of Sentineling Program on January 27 for swine backyard raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF).
As an opening salvo, about 405 sentinel animals or pigs along with 1,300 bags of feeds worth P6.75-million were awarded by the DA and the provincial government to the first batch of beneficiaries from the 6th District of Pangasinan, including those hog raisers in the municipalities of San Quintin, Tayug, Natividad, Asingan and Umingan.
Each of the 135 backyard raisers in the said towns received three pigs and 11 bags of feeds worth P50,000.
The sentineling program forms part of the efforts of the national government through the DA and the provincial government under the leadership of Governor Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III to help Pangasinense hog raisers affected by the ASF to bounce back from their losses.
Sentinel animals are normally placed in a given environment and then monitored to find out if an infectious disease (such as ASF) is still present in that area.
Leading the program were: DA RFO1 Chief Regulatory Division Annie Q. Bares, DA Agriculturist II Jerlin O. Labatete, Asst. Provincial Veterinarian Jovito Tabajeros, at District VI Veterinarian Arcely G. Robeniol.
Labatete underscored that the DA has earmarked P38.25-million fund for the overall sentineling program in the province of Pangasinan.
Dr. Tabarejos noted that sentineling program will serve as assessment to test the incidence of ASF in the province after the infectious disease affected the livelihood of 60% swine raisers in Pangasinan.
“Dito natin malalaman natin ang presensya ng ASF sa Pangasinan at kung napatunayan natin na wala na, ito na ang hudyat na pwede na tayo muling magsimula sa pag-aalaga ng baboy,” said Dr. Tabarejos.
All awarded sentinel animals will undergo 40-day observation period under the assistance of the Provincial Veterinary Office.
On the other hand, the asst. provincial veterinarian also bared that the province of Pangasinan has not reported any case of ASF for almost a year and has also assured that the provincial government works hand-in-hand with the national government to safeguard swine industry in Pangasinan.
It was also noted that these beneficiaries earlier received support from the DA, such as: disinfectant, vitamins, antibiotic, and dewormer.
The Senteling Program will be extended to other hog raisers affected by ASF in other districts of Pangasinan.
/Shiella Mae D. Castro