The provincial government through the Provincial Veterinarian Office (PVO) is continuing heightened monitoring operations in seaports and the airport to prevent the entry of live hogs and pork products into the province as fear on the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) continues to grip the country.
Department of Agriculture officials have not confirmed whether or not ASF has entered the country but the province has taken precautionary measures nonetheless to safeguard its P6-billion hog industry by requiring stringent certification before live pigs and pork products are allowed entry into the island.
According to provincial veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, Governor Arthur Yap through an executive order created a task force to implement the provincial preparedness contingency plan against ASF.
The PVO as directed by the task force deployed quarantine officers across entry points in the province particularly seaports and the Bohol Panglao International Airport.
Pork products from outside Bohol, even for personal and home consumption, have also been barred from entering the province given that the virus is highly contagious among hogs.
Monitoring operations are not solely focused in coastal towns as other PVO officers have also been directed to keep a close watch on pig farms all over the province.
“Sa mga dili coastal, monitoring ra mi sa farms ug mga backyard raisers,” she said.
However, Lapiz said that they are in need of more quarantine officers particularly in the municipalities with their heightened operations.
“Among gihangyo ang lungsod na mag-hire. Sa mga high-risk na port, for example Ubay, magbutang siguro mi og tulo ka taga province didto kay naa man puy tulo ka taga lungsod nan aka setup na,” she said.
Meanwhile, vessel and plan tickets have been attached with flyers informing the public on ASF and the banned entry of pigs and port products into the province as a result of a meeting between the task force and stakeholders from the transportation industry on Wednesday.
Lapiz assured the public that the province has sufficient supply of pork products even without imports.
Fears on the entry of ASF into the country started when reports of the rising number of hog deaths in Rizal surfaced earlier this week.
The DA neither confirmed nor denied reports indicating that the hogs in Rizal died of ASF, a deadly viral disease which affects only hogs and cannot be transmitted to humans. (R. Tutas)