Negros beefs up measures vs African swine fever

Published June 21, 2019, 4:06 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Glazyl Masculino 

BACOLOD CITY – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) in Negros Occidental has intensified its measures to prevent the possible entry of African swine fever (ASF) in the province.

African swine fever is not harmful to humans but can be fatal to pigs - and potentially harmful to China's huge pork industry (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
African swine fever is not harmful to humans but can be fatal to pigs – and potentially harmful to China’s huge pork industry (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

PVO head Renante Decena said they have strengthened the inspection and monitoring of frozen and processed pork products coming in the province.

ASF, a contagious haemorrhagic viral disease among domestic and wild pigs that can spread rapidly regardless of borders, is not a risk to human health but it can still bring serious economic and production losses to the swine industry.

PVO records showed that the province has a total swine population of 508,709 heads as of January 2019.

It comprises 451,035 heads are from the backyard sector and 57,674 heads from the commercial sector.

Decena said efforts are being taken to prevent the entry of the disease in the country considering that there is no vaccine yet to cure the viral disease.

The PVO also conducted massive information education campaign through its Provincial Veterinary District Field Units with the cooperation of local hog raisers and associations.

The provincial veterinarian said they also installed additional footbaths in all ports of entry as part of a heightened disease surveillance.

The Philippine government, particularly the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Transportation (DOTr), have been campaigning against the disease following the outbreak in neighboring countries like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Mongolia including active cases in 17 other countries.

Amid the threat brought by the disease, PVO is reminding the public to refrain from bringing in pork products and by-products from ASF infected countries to help protect the multi-billion swine industry of the province, Decena said.