Hog raisers see full recovery of livestock industry in 5-7 years
If the consistent slowdown in the number of African swine fever (ASF) cases recorded in the country continues, hog raiser groups said the full recovery of the livestock industry may happen in five to seven years at the least.
Chester Warren Tan, president of National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc., said reversing the losses from ASF would need years of repopulation and institutionalizing biosecurity practices.
He added that the timeline may change depending on how the government would proceed with the rehabilitation of the industry, and noted that easing importation rules may delay the recovery for two years.
His remarks were in response to Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s announcement during the online briefing on Friday that the ASF cases in the country were on a downtrend.
From 1,773 cases in August last year, cases have gone down to 62 cases as of this month.
Cases in October last year went down to 597 and further in December with 363 incidents. In January, swine fever recorded cases were at 358.
“I would like to believe that this is a sign or indication that the quarantine and surveillance strategies we have put in place are really working and will continue to do so,” Dar said.
In a separate briefing, Rieldrin Morales, the newly appointed director of the Bureau of Animal Industry, said most of the affected areas in Luzon—where the country’s livestock production is mostly concentrated—also did not report any new outbreak in the last three months.
The viral hog disease eventually drove the country’s inflation to a two-year high in January and February at 4.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, as prices of pork surged due to a tight supply.
This prompted lawmakers this week to urge President Duterte to put the entire country under a state of calamity so that public funds may be made available to the Department of Agriculture.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.