The Provincial government has banned the transportation of live pigs, pork and pork products into Bohol amid the suspected entry of the dreaded African swine fever (ASF)—a deadly viral disease which affects only hogs and cannot be transmitted to humans—in the country.
Governor Arthur Yap said that the measure was implemented to protect the hog industry in the province which is valued at “more than “P6 billion” and which affects more than 30,000 households in 21 municipalities.
According to Yap, pigs and pork products will only be allowed to be shipped into the province if these are accompanied by a Veterinary Health Certificate (VHA) issued by a licensed veterinarian and the appropriate shipping permit issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry- Veterinary Quarantine Services.
“This is due to the reported worsening situation in Luzon where the DA has refused to confirm or deny suspected cases of hog deaths due to African Swine Fever,” said Yap.
Yap on Tuesday met with concerned agencies to discuss contingency plans and other safety measures.
He tasked the office of the Provincial Veterinarian to coordinate with municipal and barangay authorities to monitor farms across the province.
“For the hog farmers, I am issuing instructions to avoid swine swill feeding and the immediate installation of bio security measures such as putting up of foot baths and regular disinfection of farms. Veterinary health programs such as vaccination against health cholera and de-worming must also be implemented,” said Yap.
According to Provincial Veterinarian Bing Lapiz, they are conducting tight monitoring operations and checking of permits and certifications of transported pigs to prevent the entry of the virus into the province.
Lapiz said that they will be requiring a VHA, meat inspection certificate and shipping permit before live pigs and pork products are allowed entry.
She said that the public need not panic as there have been no reported AFS cases in the province.
However, communities should remain vigilant as the entry of the virus is expected to be disastrous to the local swine industry. She called on hog raisers to immediately report to authority any sign of the possible spread of the disease in their areas. (R. Tutas, A. Doydora)