Mayor Sara: No lapses in biosecurity protocols at checkpoints

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 Feb) – Mayor Sara Duterte had seen no lapses in the implementation of the temporary ban on the entry of live pigs and pork products enforced since September 2019 at the checkpoints of Davao City to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) to commercial and backyard farms here.

Duterte said this in reaction to the statement of Agriculture Secretary William Dar that the dreaded ASF had reached Barangays Lamanan and Dominga in Calinan District due to the “incursion” of infected pigs brought by traders from Sulop, Davao del Sur.

She said the personnel of the Task Force Davao and City Veterinarian’s Office manning the checkpoints here “have been hard at work” to ensure that no ASF-infected pigs and pork products would enter the city to prevent the spread of the disease to hogs raised by commercial and backyard growers.

In September 2019, Duterte issued an executive order banning the entry of live pigs and pork products following the ASF outbreak in some areas in Luzon. Based on the executive order, 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 swill feeding by backyard hog raisers to prevent the spread of the virus to other swine, as the food scraps may contain infected pork meat.

However, live hogs coming from different parts of the region could still be transported into the city, provided that businesses and individuals could present Veterinarian’s Health Certificate and Animal Inspection certificates issued by the Veterinary Quarantine Service before they can be allowed to enter.

Duterte surmised that the infected pigs might have shown the manifestation of the ASF after they were transported to Davao through the checkpoints since the “incubation period” of the disease takes a while.

“Sometimes, the infection would not manifest in pigs right away because there is an incubation period,” she said.

“Possibly, infected pigs were brought but did not manifest any signs of the infection, and then the signs and symptoms manifested only when pigs were already here,” the mayor said.

As of Tuesday, the Department of Agriculture-11 reported that 1,562 hogs in Barangay Lamanan and 477 in Barangay Dominga, Calinan Districts were culled.

Duterte reminded the Dabawenyos to “not eat pork that is contaminated with ASF” because “while it cannot affect humans,” it is also unfit for human consumption.

“If you see your pig sick, call the Davao City Veterinarians Office. We will check, inspect, and conduct de-population if ASF is positive and pay for your piglets and pigs. Thereafter, you cannot grow pigs for the next three months,” she said.

Duterte said hog raisers would be compensated for the culling of their livestock. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)