Tight border measures needed vs ASF, says DA 7

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THE Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA 7) called for the tightening of border measures in all ports of entry in the transport of pork and pork products as the threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF) draws nearer in Central Visayas.

This, as the first confirmed case of ASF in the Visayas was detected in Eastern Visayas, particularly in Abuyog, Leyte.

"We engage the cooperation of our partners in various government agencies, the local government units (LGUs) and all stakeholders on more stringent border measures to be implemented at all ports in Region 7," said DA 7 Director Salvador Diputado.

In an advisory dated Jan. 19, 2021, Diputado directed the personnel of the LGUs and the Regional Veterinary Quarantine Services 7 deployed in ports to strictly check all documents accompanying transported swine, including pork and pork products.

He said that as of their latest report from Eastern Visayas, 1,168 hogs have been culled in three municipalities namely in Abuyog, La Paz and Javier.

They should also ensure that all livestock transport vehicles are properly disinfected and disinfection certificates must be presented at all ports, the DA 7 chief said.

Diputado said that traders and livestock handlers must comply with government regulations related to livestock transports and be updated with existing executive orders on movement of pigs and pork that are enforced by local government units within the region.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has issued an indefinite ban on the entry of pork and other pork-related products in Cebu especially from areas affected by ASF.

The province and the region remains ASF-free and is supplying hogs to Metro Manila which was stricken by ASF.

Diputado also asked a regular update on the list of swine raisers and inventory of hogs up to the barangay level that will be conducted by LGU-hired veterinarians and municipal agriculture officers.

Massive information, education and communications activities will also be conducted by the DA 7 particularly on swine raisers on the avoidance of feeding pigs with swill or leftovers particularly containing pork products and avoidance to the purchase of processed pork products coming from areas affected with ASF.

It should also include the implementation of biosecurity measures at all swine farms, whether backyard or commercial; proper disinfection of livestock vehicles; and prompt reporting of unexplained mortalities in pigs to the local veterinary office or municipal agriculture offices. (JOB/PR)