Batangas ProVet beefs up info drive vs. African Swine Fever

Published February 16, 2019, 11:43 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

BATANGAS CITY — The provincial government, through its Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), is inspecting livestock farms and informing hog-raisers and agricultural workers to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the province.

Dr. Romel Marasigan, Batangas Provincial Veterinarian (ProVet), said on Saturday they have implemented concrete steps – including coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA) – on using foot mats in airports and ports like the Batangas International Port here.

At the same time, based on the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) directives, all veterinary quarantine personnel in the airports and seaports have been directed to be on alert against the possible entry of the disease.

Marasigan added that they have also coordinated with the Batangas Provincial Police Office (BPPO) for the deployment of their men to assist personnel manning the Animal Inspection Checkpoints set up at designated provincial entry and exit routes to protect the swine industry here.

“Hindi nakakahawa sa tao ang ASF, subalit malaking banta ito sa livestock industry ng lalawigan at ng buong bansa dahil nakamamatay sa baboy ang sakit sa loob lamang ng dalawa hanggang sampung araw (the ASF does not infect people, but this is a huge threat to the livestock industry in the province and the country because it could cause death in the swine once infected in a matter of two to 10 days),” he said.

He said that besides the information drive, the PVO is strictly monitoring the situation in pig farms for the strict implementation of farm biosecurity measures here.

Hog farms were also briefed on the symptoms of the ASF which include vomiting; diarrhea; red or dark skin, particularly on the ears and snout; swollen red eyes; labored breathing and coughing; abortions, still-births and weak litters; nervous signs such as convulsions and tremors in newborn piglets and weakness.

Marasigan also directed the PVO to strictly implement the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) guidelines, dubbed “B.A.B.E.S”, as preventive measures for the entry of ASF into the country.

These include Ban pork imports from 13 countries; Avoid swill feeding or stop feeding the pigs with food leftovers from the household; Block entry at international ports; Educate our people; and, Submit samples.

The ProVet also encourages the public to report to the veterinary office any unusual death of pigs, smuggling of pork or meat items especially hand-carried by foreigners from affected countries.

The DA came out with a memorandum order last August, which imposed a ban on the entry of pork and pork-based products from 13 countries, namely: Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romani, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and Zambia.

Returning residents and overseas Filipino workers, especially from countries affected by the ASF, have likewise been advised not to bring in pork or pork-based products, including ham, bacon and the likes.