UNAHCO launches program
educating backyard hog raisers on ASF prevention and management
Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO) in collaboration with the local government of Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija conducted a one-day demo session to educate backyard hog raisers on the basics of biosecurity to curb the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the Philippines last March 17.
Titled “Bangon Kaagapay Sanib Pwersa sa Pagbangon”, the demo was led by UNAHCO and attended by LGU representatives from Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija, suppliers, veterinarians, and backyard hog raisers from different barangays.
“Ang layunin po ng programang ito ay upang tulungan ang mga magba-baboy po natin na maibalik ang [sigla] ng industriya ng pagbababoy. Alam po natin na malaki ang naging epekto, lalo na po ng sakit na ASF, kaya naman po bagama’t maganda ang presyo ng baboy ngayon marami po ang gustong mag-alaga ay natatakot po sila dahil sa ASF,” said Serafin Ignacio, [designation] at UNAHCO.
[Our goal is to help our hog raisers and the hog raising industry to bounce back. We know that the industry has been impacted greatly by ASF, that is why although the price of pork in the market has gotten better and many would want to raise pigs, there is still fear among hog raisers due to ASF.]
During the demonstration session led by Dr. Brayan Cayad-an, UNAHCO’s resident doctor, the hog raisers were taught how to implement proper biosecurity measures in their backyard farms to protect their pigs from acquiring viruses such as ASF. The participants were shown the four-step process of disinfection—clean, wash, disinfect, and dry—on their pig pens, farm equipment, as well as on their vehicles used to transport hogs and their surroundings.
UNAHCO also showed how to properly dilute and apply the disinfectant. Another key method showed during the demo was the importance of heat treatment on the walls, floors, and pens to effectively eliminate viruses and other pathogens that can harm the pigs.
Aside from disinfecting, the hog raisers were also taught how to isolate their pens from the roads using fences and nets. This way, the hog raisers can properly isolate their healthy pigs from sick ones as well as protect their investment from possible virus carriers such as birds, insects, dogs, cats, and chickens.
Edgar Evangelista from Barangay Sta Teresita, a 15-year backyard hog raiser who participated in the demo session mentioned that ASF has been a struggle for hog raisers in the province. “Naisipan namin mag-alaga [ng baboy] kasi dagdag income din pero nitong huli, last year nagkaroon nga ng epidemya ang mga baboy laya nahinto kami sa pag-aalaga.”
[We thought of raising hogs because it also adds income but lately, last year, there was an epidemic outbreak that is why we stopped it.]
He furthered that a lot of small-scale hog raisers feared ASF because, given their small capital, everything will be put at risk if all their pigs are killed and disposed of due to this dreaded disease. However, because of UNAHCO, their fear and doubts have been allayed as the company has been very valuable in extending their much-needed help in raising their hogs.
“Dahil sa programang ito, natulungan kaming magsimula ulit kaming maliliit at malalaking kumpanya para mapasigla ulit ang pag-aalaga ng baboy dito sa aming lugar. Bumabalik ang aming kumpiyansa sa pag-aalaga dahil alam namin na matutulungan kaming mapangalagaan ang aming mga baboy at mapalaki sila ng maganda at malusog,” Evangelista noted.
[Because of this program, small-scale hog raisers, and even big ones, were able to start raising hogs again in the area. Our confidence in taking care of pigs is coming back because we know that UNAHCO is there to help us.]
Meanwhile, UNAHCO assured the hog raisers that they will also be extending help in finding hog breeders that are certified ASF-free.
“Ang programa po natin, in coordination sa programa ng DA, Bantay ASF sa Barangay, ay gusto po nating ma-impart sa inyo kung paano po ba tayo mga-aalaga na may mas malaking tiyansa na mabuhay po ang mga baboy na ito sa pamamagitan ng biosecurity at tamang protocol na dapat gawin sa ating babuyan. Ang UNAHCO po ay katulong po ninyo para mabuhay po nating muli itong industriya na ito,” Ignacio closed.
[Through this program, in coordination with the DA’s Bantay ASF sa Barangay, we would like to impart to our hog raisers how to properly take care of their pigs and ensure their viability through the implementation of biosecurity and health protocols in their business. UNAHCO is your partner in bringing back the industry’s life and vitality.]