BACOLOD City – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) in Negros Occidental strengthened its preventive measures against the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF) from entering the province.
Dr. Renante Decena, provincial veterinarian, said on Tuesday they conducted close inspection and monitoring on frozen and processed pork products brought by arriving passengers in all ports of entry in the province. Additional footbaths were also installed as part of the heightened disease surveillance, he added.
Decena noted the Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division implements these stringent security measures to prevent ASF from entering Negros Occidental.
“Massive efforts are being taken to prevent its entry in the country considering that there is no vaccine yet to cure the viral disease,” Decena stressed.
As of January this year, Negros Occidental has a total swine population of 508,709 heads. This includes 451,035 heads from backyard raisers and 57,674 heads from the commercial sector.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) meanwhile have been campaigning against the disease, following the outbreak in neighboring countries like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Mongolia.
DA started deploying “meat-sniffing” dogs in international airports all over the country.
Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on a Facebook post that some 55 German Shepherds from Talisay City, Negros Occidental would be commissioned by the Bureau of Animal Industry to monitor incoming goods at airports.
These dogs would undergo training on area familiarization and meat sniffing to ensure that no ASF-infected meat could enter the country.
ASF is a contagious hemorrhagic viral disease among domestic and wild pigs that can spread rapidly regardless of borders. Though ASF is not a risk to human health, it can still bring serious economic and production losses to the swine industry. (With a report from PNA/PN)