The provincial government and various agencies have placed personnel in different ports of entry on heightened alert after the first African Swine Fever (ASF) case in the Visayas was detected in the adjacent province of Leyte.
Provincial veterinarian Bing Lapiz on Monday said that the presence of the ASF in two villages in Abuyog, Leyte was confirmed last week prompting the Department of Agriculture to alert nearby provinces in the Visayas which remained free of the highly contagious disease more than a year after cases were first reported in Luzon and Mindanao.
According to Lapiz, Bohol, through an executive order signed by Gov. Art Yap on Friday last week, expanded its ban on the entry of livestock transport vehicles, even empty ones, from Leyte on top of Mindanao and Luzon.
“Atong karaan na pamaagi, pwede man mo sud ang ilang empty vehicle diri sa ato, unya ang atong mga baboy ug mga baka ikarga nato sa pantalan so dili sila kasuroy kutob ra pantalan para kargahan sa atong mga baboy, pero karon na naay outbreak sa Leyte dili na g’yud ta magpasud,” Lapiz said.
All vehicles entering the province even private ones are now required to undergo disinfection to prevent the spread of ASF and COVID-19.
Monitoring in coastal villages have also been tightened to stop the entry of pork products through small fishing boats.
Lapiz said that locals may be tempted to purchase swine and pork products from Leyte considering that sellers in the nearby province could lower their prices due to the outbreak.
“Ga lay down to og scheduling sa information campaign alang sa mga coastal barangay kay giingon g’yud ni governor na pahibaw-on ang mga taw, e-inform para makatabang sila kay dili ra man regular ports nato ang agian sa mga taw,” she said.
Bohol has been imposing a strict stance on its efforts to prevent the entry of ASF considering that it has a P6-billion swine industry which is mostly comprised of backyard hog raisers to protect.
The province since late 2019 banned the entry of live pigs, pork and pork products into the province as part of efforts to keep the province ASF-free.
ASF is a deadly viral disease which affects only hogs and cannot be transmitted to humans. (A. Doydora)