Governor Aris Aumantado has ordered the intensification of border controls in a bid to keep Bohol free from the dreaded African swine fever (ASF) which is at its closest to province since it was first detected in the Philippines in 2019.
According to Provincial Veterinarian Bing Lapiz, Aumentado issued an executive order creating the ASF-AI (ASF-Avian Influenza) Provincial Executive Committee and Task Force on Monday after cases of the hog-borne disease were detected in the adjacent island-province of Camaguin.
Aumentado on the same day convened the task force to discuss measures intended to prevent the entry of ASF.
“Atong gihisgutan ang atong pagpalig-on sa implementation sa atoang existing na ordinance so gi amend and review,” said Lapiz.
ASF is a deadly viral disease which affects only hogs and cannot be transmitted to humans.
Its spread is feared however for its potential to cripple the province’s multimillion-peso hog industry and further jack up pork prices in the market.
In a response to the ASF threat, the provincial government vowed to impose stiff penalties against those who violate entry protocols for livestock and meat products to deter smuggling.
Transport of live hogs, pork and pork-related products into the province of Bohol is currently prohibited.
“Ang paghamtang og mga penalidad sa atong mga violators atong lig-unon unya ato jud siyang e-implement aron jud mabutangan og ngipon ang atong balaod,” said Lapiz.
Meanwhile, the provincial government hired additional quarantine inspectors who will be deployed to the Bohol Panglao International Airport and the various seaports of the province.
An inspector was also stationed at the port of Camiguin to monitor livestock and other cargo that will be shipped from the province to Bohol.
The Capitol worker was also tasked to conduct an information drive at the port to share details on the ban against the entry of live hogs and pork products into the province.
“Kung dunay mga mo larga na barko naa gyuy atong taw na mopahibaw gawas sa mismong personnel sa barko na gidili ang pagdala sa mga produkto nila padung diri sa atoa. So adto palang tua na atong first line of defense,” said Lapiz.
Lapiz noted that there is still no mass-produced vaccine against ASF while the disease also has no cure.
So far, inoculation against the hog-borne disease is still undergoing clinical trials.
She added that hog raisers should vaccinate their pigs against other diseases such as erysipelas and cholera.
Sickness among hogs may cause alarm considering that these diseases and ASF have similar symptoms. (A. Doydora with a report from R. Tutas)