ILOILO – This province remains free from the African swine fever (ASF), a contagious hemorrhagic swine disease with no known cure.
As a preventive measure, however, Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. ordered a temporary ban on hogs, pork, pork products and by-products from ASF-hit areas.
He assured the public that despite the ban, Iloilo has ample supply of meat. The province’s sources of meat are Negros Occidental, Cagayan de Oro and Cebu.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently confirmed ASF in the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal, and in the following countries: China, South Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Latvia, Poland, and Romania.
“ASF is a threat to the swine industry and the food security of the province,” Defensor stressed in issuing Executive Order No. 159 on the temporary ban.
He also ordered strict veterinary quarantine procedures in seaports and at the Iloilo International Airport by the quarantine teams of the municipalities of Cabatuan, Dumangas, Ajuy, Estancia, and Carles.
Only those that meet the regulatory requirements of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) would be allowed to enter Iloilo.
The following are the requirements:
* veterinary health certificate (VHC) and veterinary shipping permit
* livestock handler’s permit
* livestock and poultry transport / carrier certificate
* certificate of vehicle registration
* disinfection clearance
* farm registration
The executive order also stated that “all swine, pork, pork products and by-products shall be accompanied by National Meat Inspection Service or Local Government Unit Meat Inspection Certificate.”
On Sept. 4, Defensor formed the Iloilo Provincial African Swine Fever Task Force (IPASFTF) to do the following tasks:
* carry out the proper implementation of ASF prevention and control measures within the province
* conduct seminars to all concerned stakeholders on ASF awareness, prevention, preparedness and response in case of outbreak
* accomplish data gathering to establish swine demographics and epidemiological profile
* identify high-risk areas based on swine demographics, epidemiological profile and animal disease surveillance data
* enhance biosecurity practices in all ports of entry and swine production facilities within the province
* conduct initial disease investigation and institute outbreak control protocols in the event of a suspected ASF case
* ensure the immediate conduct and release of confirmatory diagnosis in case of suspected outbreak
* impose immediate closure of any farm if confirmed to be infected with ASF
* ensure implementation of quarantine measures
The task force is composed of a chairperson (provincial governor), co-chairman (provincial veterinarian) and the following members: provincial administrator, provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer; provincial legal officer, provincial agriculturist; president, united livestock technicians association; representative from national meat inspection services, among others./PN