Central Visayas on alert after ASF case in Leyte
Department of Agriculture -7 Director, Atty. Salvador Diputado.
From DA-7

Central Visayas on alert after ASF case in Leyte

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - January 18, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Central Visayas is on a heightened alert at all ports of entry following official declaration of the first known case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the neighboring Eastern Visayas region.

Department of Agriculture-7 director Salvador Diputado, in an interview yesterday, urged the public to follow and cooperate with quarantine authorities to prevent the entry of ASF in Central Visayas.

He also urged the community to immediately report to their office the presence of sick hogs in their areas.

“Everyone must cooperate ug tuman gyud ta sa quarantine protocols kay usa ra ka sipyat, damay ta tanan,” said Diputado.

Diputado added that more DA personnel are deployed in all of Cebu’s ports of entry even if the ban on pork and processed pork products has not been lifted since last year.

To ensure the protection of the region against entry of the ASF virus, all stakeholders and the general public are advised to avoid feeding pigs with swill, avoid the purchase of processed pork products coming from areas affected with ASF, implement biosecurity measures in all swine farms (backyard or commercial) and ensure that traders and animal feed deliveries must properly disinfect their transport vehicles.

“Unexplained mortalities in pigs must be reported immediately to the local veterinary office or municipal agriculture offices. We urge everyone to be vigilant in maintaining Central Visayas ASF-free,” said Diputado in a separate statement.

DA-7 said that field reports on alleged high mortalities among swine population in Abuyog, Leyte since the first week of January (although unconfirmed yet at that time) already triggered an alarm.

Due to such reports, the DA-Central Visayas Animal Disease Surveillance Advisory Committee convened in a virtual meeting last January 13 the chief veterinarian in all four provinces and other city veterinarians, together with the Regional Vet Quarantine Services-7 and National Meat Inspection Services-7 director Eduardo Oblena.

DA-7 said that personnel of the local government units concerned and the RVQS-7 deployed in ports are directed to strictly check all documents accompanying transported swine (including pork) and ensure that all livestock transport vehicles are properly disinfected (disinfection certificates must be present at all ports).

Online application for shipping permits is already enforced by the RVQS-7 with an additional requirement for submission of a route plan.

 Bohol issued last November 26, 2020 EO 56 s. 2020 regulating transport and movement of pigs. Bohol is now implementing regulation where trucks containing pigs are unloaded/loaded only in designated area within their ports.

Meanwhile, the Province of Cebu will soon release a new executive order regarding establishment of quarantine regulations on the entry of livestock transport vehicle and vessels into the province of Cebu.

The veterinarians have further discussed the designation of specific ports in the region for entry/exit for trucks from Luzon and other regions affected with ASF.

The group also agreed to the conduct of random blood sample collections on slaughterhouses for negative surveillance. The laboratory tests will be conducted at the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory-7. — KQD (FREEMAN)

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