THE Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) has reported that to date, some 8,811 pigs have been “depopulated” since 2019 due to African swine fever (ASF).

According to DA-CAR Regional Director Cameron Odsey, three waves of ASF outbreaks affected Cordilleran hog farmers in 47 towns and 115 villages since 2019, leading to the said mass “depopulation” of hogs.

The first ASF wave was between October 2019 and February of 2020, prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns, followed by an outbreak in June to September of the same year in 2020. A brief respite led to a third wave this year, from January to May, specifically in the provinces of Abra and Apayao.

As of September in 2021, the Cordillera region’s hog inventory saw ASF losses of 18 percent, or 16,921 pigs out of its total 89,466 backyard animals and 5,525 pigs grown in commercial pens.

Prices of whole hogs reached P20,000 to P25,000 for medium-sized hogs as a result of ASF losses.