Businessman Marlito Uy, owner of one of the largest piggeries in the province, urged government authorities to heighten its efforts in preventing the entry of the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) which is feared to cripple the local multibillion-peso hog industry and lead to the surge of pork prices.
Serious concern has been raised over the spread of the hog-borne disease after the first ASF cases were detected in the neighboring province of Cebu.
According to Uy, owner of Marcela Farms, Inc., the provincial government should look into the food disposal of hotels and restaurants, particularly those in Panglao, to determine where there food scraps go.
He expressed concern over food leftovers from such establishments which are being turned into pigswill, locally known as “lamaw,” which are sourced from various provinces and could be contaminated with the disease.
“Kaning lamaw mao ni ang kinahadlokan g’yud kaayo. Mao nay kinapaspasan kaayo na mo transfer sa baboy. Labina karon na naigo na ang Cebu unya magda ta og chicharon, ug chorizo or unsa pa diha inig kaon nato ana unya naay sobra himuong lamaw, automatic, og naay virus to, naa nay sakit ang baboy dayon ana,” said Uy.
Uy urged the government to convene restaurant and hotel owners to ensure that there food scraps are not being used to make pigswill.
“Nakadungog ta na didto sa Cebu ang usa na naigo, although wala pa ma-confirm, is ang Mactan Island which is naa diha daghan kaayo ang mga hotels and restaurants. Unya mao ra ba na ang kasagaran na dam-okan og mga items gikan sa gawas, wa ta kahibaw og naay contaminated ana. Lamaw gyud ang kina direktahan na maka igo sa baboy kay kan-on gud na sa baboy,” he added.
Uy issued the same advice to backyard hog raisers, which he said would be the most affected if ASF spreads in Bohol.
He expressed concern that a single contamination could immediately lead to an outbreak, which would then eventually cause a pork supply shortage in the province.
“Once na ihawon na, unya makatag na didto sa tanan. Mura og gakatag ta og sakit sa entire community. Sa atong giingon, duol na, as in duol na g’yud kaayo maong naa nay sagol na panic na sa amoa,” said Uy.
“Pero ang number one g’yud na maigo ani is ang mga backyard [raisers] so meaning og wa nay mga baboy, basin og manok nalang ug baka atong kan-on inig pista pohon,” he added.
Since 2019, Bohol has been on alert against ASF by banning the entry of live hogs, pork and pork-related products.
The Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OVP) this week confirmed that there have been no reported cases of the disease in the entire province.
ASF is a deadly viral disease which affects only hogs and cannot be transmitted to humans but is feared to lead to shortage of pork and the soaring of prices of the meat product. (A. Doydora)