Sentinel pigs distribution. Photo courtesy of 1 Bataan
BALANGA CITY — The office of the provincial veterinarian on Wednesday announced that they have begun distributing in Bataan 640 heads of sentinel pigs to determine the presence of the African swine fever.
Before the coronavirus hit Bataan in 2019, ASF brought destruction to thousands of pigs in the province.
Provincial veterinarian Dr. Alberto Venturina said hog raisers in the province, except from the towns of Dinalupihan, Pilar and Limay, will each receive four pigs (weaners/weanlings) with 12 sacks of feeds, antibiotics, vitamins and dewormers.
Limay is ASF-free while Dinalupihan Mayor Maria Angela Garcia and Pilar Mayor Carlos Pizarro, Jr. still wanted strict inspection and evaluation before allowing hog raising in the areas.
Venturina said that the project is under the “ASF Sentinel Program” of the Department of Agriculture to test and monitor if the deadly animal virus is still present in the area.
He added the sentinel pigs will be monitored within six weeks to ascertain if the virus is no longer in the farm after depopulation and repopulation already advisable.
If the pigs survive in three months and show no sign of the effect of ASF, it will mean that hog raising can already continue, the veterinarian said.
In veterinary science, Venturina said, sentinel means an animal is placed in a given environment and then monitored to find out if an infectious disease or other harmful agent is present in that environment.