Close to 6,000 hogs had been culled in the different parts of Pangasinan as the African swine fever (ASF) is expected to further spread.

“As of Feb. 26, 5,581 pigs have been culled, but culling is ongoing, so the number might still increase,” Provincial Veterinarian, Dr. Jovito Tabarejos bared during the Lingguhang Talakayan sa Kapitolyo hosted by the provincial government.

He said a total of 26 barangays in the province located in some 15 towns and three cities, namely the towns of Aguilar,Basista, Bayambang, Binmaley, Bugallon, Sual, Lingayen, Labrador, Mangatarem, Calasiao, Sta. Barbara, Malasiqui, Mapandan, Mangaldan, and Asingan, and even the cities of San Carlos, Urdaneta and the provincial capital of Dagupan, are affected by the swine disease.

The provincial veterinarian is still hopeful that Pangasinan could address the virus despite it spreading quickly.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) will provide cows or chickens to hog raisers as a replacement for pigs affected by the ASF.

Tabarejos also pointed out that dishonest hog owners and hog-raisers have continued to illegally slaughter their produce despite the current total ban of selling pork in the market.  (Jojo Mangahis)