Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar visited the towns of Urdaneta and Rosales in Pangasinan on December 1, to assure the public that pork and pork products in the province are free from African Swine Fever (ASF) and are safe to consume.

“We have been closely working with the Hog Raisers’ Association and other private organizations to address ASF and come up with a practical solution,” Dar said.

“There is still a threat and so we continue to implement quarantine measures and observe the 1-7-10 protocol,” he added.

During the visit, the agriculture chief announced that less than 1% of the 13 million total population of hogs has been infected.

But even with the minimum loss, the Secretary said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) will still carry out initiatives to manage, contain, and control ASF, adding that DA will innovate and upgrade its quarantine systems.

“We have to take care of this P260-billion industry together,” he said.

In his message, Dar urged the public to help the government in its drive against ASF.

“Kapag may nakita po kayong problema sa kanayunan, isangguni po ninyo sa mga municipal at city agriculture’s office para mai-report agad sa Bureau of Animal Industry,” he said.

He also warned meat traders and vendors not to buy slaughtered hogs infected with ASF.

“Kung bibili po kayo at ititinda ninyo, kayo na ang nagkakalat ng sakit,” he said.