Cebu News

Cebu City remains ASF-free

Mary Ruth R. Malinao - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) has announced that the African Swine Fever (ASF) has not yet been detected in the city.

As reported by the city’s Public Information Office (PIO), DVMF head Jessica Maribojoc said there are no confirmed cases of the disease in the city based on the current ASF zoning status issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

“Yes, free pa ta from ASF, and we are trying to maintain that status through our efforts and programs organized nato sa DVMF,” said Maribojoc.

ASF is a highly contagious and deadly swine disease that can affect both farm-raised and feral (wild) pigs. It does not infect people, but it is readily passed from one pig to another by direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected pig.

Maribojoc said that if ASF enters the city, the local economy will be affected since Cebu is considered as one of the country’s largest live pigs and pork product suppliers.

As a measure, the DVMF still bans the importation of live pigs and pork products from areas with confirmed ASF cases, locally and internationally.

The department also continues to implement strict border control by assigning meat inspectors in ports for close monitoring.

Aside from that, the slaughterhouses in the city are also under strict monitoring.

Maribojoc added that they assigned personnel to collect blood samples from hog farms in the city’s mountain barangays to ensure that the animals have not contracted the virus.

“Regular gyud ni namong ginabuhat para atong ma-ensure nga free gyud ta, because we want to keep it that way as long as we can,” said Maribojoc.

Meanwhile, the DVMF confiscated boxes of meat products from South Korea and China and immediately disposed of them.

Maribojoc said that two are among the 24 countries with confirmed cases of ASF worldwide.

DVMF also conducts information drives by sending letters to retailers for them to disallow meat from those areas. — GMR (FREEMAN)


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