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Bulacan swine farm spares life of piglet to prove it is ASF-free

Considered as ground zero of African swine fever (ASF) in the country, this piggery in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan culled all of its 81 pigs, except for one.

According to a report by Mark Salazar on GMA News' 24 Oras, the solitary young pig that was spared will be observed and will determine if the area is already free of ASF.

"Nakakailang test na dito, wala puro negative. Kasi kung isa o dalawang araw 'yan dito nababa maaring mamatay 'yan. Eh mag iisang buwan na 'yan dito, ayan o ang lakas lakas ng baboy," Noli Cruz, owner of the piggery, said.

"Walang nang tama dito sa Guiguinto. Gusto ko lang na maipakita na walang tama dito kaya inaalagaan ko ito," Cruz added.

The piggery was ordered temporarily closed on August 17 due to swine fever.

The Department of Agriculture will issue another ASF bulletin next week, even as its spokesperson, Noel Reyes, said the disease has been contained.

Cruz appealed to authorities to allow them to resume their business soon.

"Sana ibalik naman kasi kawawa naman ang mga negosyanteng maliliit kasi yung iba nanghihiram lang ng puhunan, talagang lugi," he said.

More than 30 percent of piggeries in the town of Guiguinto are engaged in small-scale backyard hog raising, according to its municipal agriculture office.

The Bureau of Animal Industry has not issued any order to cull pigs within the one, seven and 10 kilometer radius of the affected area.

The spread of the swine flu will hurt the swine industry and could affect supply in the country.  

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that in 2017, 87 percent of the country's total supply came from local production, while only 13 percent came from abroad.

Bulacan is among the top hog producing provinces in the country.  Other top producers are Batangas, Bukidnon, Cebu, Tarlac, Rizal, Iloilo, South Cotabato, Negros Occidental and Leyte. —LDF, GMA News