KALIBO, Aklan – Authorities here sustained its heighten security and quarantine measures to prevent the entry of animal diseases in airports and seaports of the province.
Gov. Florencio Miraflores recently convened government agencies and the animal disease prevention and control task force to discuss threats of African swine fever (ASF) and other animal diseases.
Amid swine fever alert, the Provincial Veterinary Office-Aklan is closely monitoring the entry of live animals, meat products and meat-by products in Aklan by setting up quarantine checkpoints in Altavas, Buruanga and Nabas to ensure meat products sold in markets are safe for human consumption.
Authorities also enforced tight watch on Kalibo International Airport (KIA) with direct regional flights from China and Hong Kong, two of the countries affected by the deadly swine virus, and Caticlan jetty port in Malay, Aklan.
All carry-on bags of passengers are also screened by x-ray machines at KIA and ports of entry to handle ASF virus.
The management of food leftover and kitchen waste in Boracay establishments and the provincial government’s possible takeover of confiscated meat products disposal were part of the plans and protocols to contain the entry of ASF virus and other animal diseases.
KIA Veterinary Quarantine Services head Dr. Christine Lynn Melgarejo said there is no outbreak of ASF, bird flu and foot and mouth disease in Aklan, despite cases of swine mortalities in Luzon.
ASF outbreak was detected in Hong Kong, Laos, Germany, Russia, China, Hungary, Vietnam, Ukraine, North Korea, Mongolia, Belgium, Latvia, Romania, Poland, South Africa, Zambia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Cambodia, Ukraine and Czech Republic. Importation, distribution and sale of all processed meat products from these countries are temporarily ban by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Melgarejo said a total of 230 kilos of meat products confiscated from airport passengers on Aug. 19 and a total of 210 kilos on Sept. 3 were disposed in Kalibo landfill.
The ASF is a deadly animal disease affecting pigs and wild boars with up to 100% mortality, it has no known cure but it is harmless to humans.
Over five million pigs in Asia have died for the past year due to ASF, according to the latest data of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (With a report from Akean Forum/PN)