By Shirley Matias Pizarro
PILAR — In the wake of the continued spread of the African Swine Flu (ASF) in the province of Bataan, local government authorities have taken strict precautionary measures to help prevent further proliferation of the virus.
As of this writing, six towns in Bataan, namely, Dinalupihan, Hermosa, Orani, Samal, Abucay, and Orion, have already reported cases of ASF.
In this regard, Mayor Charlie Pizarro of Pilar town, which lies between Balanga City and Orion, told the Manila Bulletin that they have been doing their part in ensuring the safety of the existing livestock in the province.
“We have created strategic checkpoints in all major thoroughfares in the province and we have strictly banned all pork meat and similar products from entering Bataan. The only pork you will find in the market now are the ones that have passed a thorough inspection by the Department of Veterinary here in Bataan, all of which were raised locally. All the pork sold in Bataan are raised in Bataan,” Pizarro said.
Pizarro added that “although ASF does not, in any way, affect humans even when we consume pork affected by it, we are effecting strict measures to combat it because we want to protect the hog raisers in the province who stand to everything all in their hog business.”
Pilar Municipal Agriculture Officer-in-Charge Julie Ann Dizon said that they have been doing the rounds in inspecting hog farms, making sure that they are environmentally compliant.
They have also distributed disinfectants, and educated backyard hog-raisers on the utmost importance of observing a good bio-security measure.
“They need to know that they have to strictly limit human exposure of their hogs,” Dizon said.
Dizon added: “We have also banned the use of home-collected leftover food for the hogs since it was identified to be a source of contamination that delivers the virus to the hogs.”