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Pangasinan to charge profiteers behind new ASF cases

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ANIMAL quarantine checkpoints are set up by the local government of Dagupan City, Pangasinan’s commercial center, after the emergence of new African Swine Fever cases in Binmaley and Malasiqui. — DAGUPAN PIO/R.ERFE-MEJIA

THE PANGASINAN provincial government will investigate the emergence of new African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in two towns and charge those who will be found to have “directly or indirectly” contributed to the situation “just to gain undue profit.” Gov. Amado I. Espino III, in an emergency meeting on Sunday, ordered the Task Force ASF to conduct the probe as they implement measures to contain the spread of the virus. The new cases were confirmed in the last two weeks in hog farms in Binmaley and Malasiqui. The ASF cases last year in Mapandan and Bayambang were addressed through culling operations. “Were it not for these new cases, the DA (Department of Agriculture) was expected to formally certify our ASF-free status this month,” Assistant Provincial Veterinarian Jovito Tabarejos said in a statement from the provincial government. Mr. Espino also approved the task force’s recommendation to draw up a “reward system” to encourage public participation in the crackdown against profiteers.

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