DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 Sept) – The City Government of Davao has temporarily banned the entry of live pigs and pork products following the outbreak of the dreaded African swine fever (ASF) in some areas in Luzon or 16 days after the Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the disease in the country.
Based on the executive order issued on Wednesday, the “temporary ban applies to all live pigs, pork and pork-related products and by-products, whether fresh, frozen, processed or cooked, including but not limited to frozen boar semen, from the entire island of Luzon and the other ASF-affected areas.”
The same measure prohibited the swill feeding to the backyard hog raisers to prevent the spread of the virus to other swine, as the food scraps may contain infected pork meat.
Immediately after it confirmed the presence of ASF in the country, the DA has vigorously applied the “1-7-10 Protocol” in ASF affected areas in Luzon, including veterinary quarantine movement protocol during animal disease outbreaks and emergencies.
According to the DA, the ASF outbreaks have been controlled in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan; and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo in Rizal.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also imposed a temporary ban on pork products from ASF-hit countries and issued a warning against food business operators importing, distributing, and selling banned products.
Earlier, Dr. Cerelyn Pinili, head of the City Veterinarian’s Office, said the measure seeks to ensure the city remains safe from the ASF.
Pinili said the city government has already convened the ASF Task Force—comprised of the City Planning and Development Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Agriculturist Office, City Health Office, City Information Office, and the commercial and backyard hog raisers as private sector representatives—to implement the Davao City African Swine Fever Protection Program.
The task force was created by an executive order signed by then acting mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte last September 5.
Pinili said the local government will also implement a 24/7 animal quarantine monitoring system in three major checkpoints of the city—Sirawan in Toril, Lacson in Calinan, and Lasang. Footbaths will be provided there for all passengers entering the city.
For live hogs coming from different parts of the region, she said the local government requires businesses and individuals to present Veterinarian’s Health Certificate and Animal Inspection certificates issued by the Veterinary Quarantine Service before they can be allowed to enter.
Similar requirements are needed for abattoirs in the city, she said.
Aside from Davao City, Dr. Armie Capuyan, DA-regional ASF focal person, said the provincial government of Davao Oriental has also imposed a temporary ban on all pork and by-products. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)