The highly contagious African swine fever (ASF) has not made its way to Bohol which has long been vigilant against the virus to protect its P6-billion swine industry, an official said Wednesday after the first case of the disease in the Visayas was detected last week in the nearby province of Leyte.
“Hantod karong mga adlawa wala g’yud makasud ang ASF sa lalawigan sa Bohol,” said provincial veterinarian Bing Lapiz in an interview over station dyRD.
According to Lapiz, stringent measures have been in place since 2019 and these have been expanded immediately after the Department of Agriculture confirmed the ASF cases in Leyte.
She said that live hogs, pork, and pork-related products from Region VIII are now barred from entering Bohol as the government widened the coverage of the prohibition which previously only covered Luzon and Mindanao where cases of the viral disease have been detected as early as 2019.
While the ASF has not reached Bohol shores, the province has been affected by the low supply of pork in Luzon including Metro Manila as local hog raisers have been directing their supplies to the region.
The ASF outbreak drove up demand for pork in Luzon prompting traders to source their supplies from the Visayas including Bohol and buying these at high prices.
“Nakaingon sa pagsaka sa presyo sa baboy sa [Bohol] kining high demand sa Manila, mag-ilog ng mga trader og asa sila manguha tungod kay dako kaayo ang demand sa Luzon for baboy, so tungod kay mahal kaayo ang baboy didto, mahal pud ang ilang palit,” said Lapiz.
Lapiz noted that some of the province’s hog raisers had also stopped growing swine due to the previous low demand caused by the pandemic that shut down hospitality establishments such as hotels which used to regularly purchase supplies of pork.
“Sa Ubay palang, mi report ilang municipal agriculture officer na almost 50 percent sa ilang backyard raisers hing undang og pamuhi labina adrong panahon na naglisod og baligya og baboy, barato kaayo ang palit diri sa ato,” she added.
The Provincial Veterinary Office and local agriculture offices are still conducting surveys to find out how many of the province’s 50,000 hog raisers have stopped growing swine. (R. Tutas)