By Antonio Colina
DAVAO CITY – The Davao City Veterinarian’s Office (DCVO) assured consumers that the pork products being sold at the local markets here are “safe for consumption” amid the panic caused by the confirmed presence of African swine fever (ASF) in two barangays in Calinan, this city.
Dr. Cerelyn Pinili, the Officer-in-Charge of the City Vet, said that the hogs that have been transported and slaughtered in the accredited abattoirs were strictly inspected, requiring hog owners to show a “shipping permit and health certificate” declaring their pigs are not infected with the dreaded ASF.
Before the hogs enter the abattoirs, Pinili said the local government requires “ante-mortem” and “post-mortem” examinations to determine if the pigs and the meats are contaminated with the disease.
Pinili also advised the local consumers to check from the sellers meat inspection certificates issued by her office that are usually displayed in meat stalls in public markets or meat section of the groceries in malls.
She said the local government was closely monitoring the ASF outbreak that has already resulted in 1,562 hogs in Barangay Lamanan and 477 in Barangay Dominga, Calinan Districts being culled as of Tuesday.
She urged hog producers to practice biosecurity measures, including restricting the entry of pigs into their farms, disinfecting their areas, and avoiding feeding their pigs with swill, possibly contaminated with ASF.
She said hog raisers must immediately report to authorities if they see pigs showing signs and symptoms of the infection, so that they can conduct blood sampling to determine if they test positive for ASF.
“If you notice in your neighborhood that hogs are becoming weak, call our office so we can get blood samples from the pigs. We can immediately take action, unlike if you hide situations like this. This needs participation from the farmers, consumers, let’s help each other),” she said.
The Department of Agriculture requires all pigs within the one-kilometer radius of areas that reported an outbreak to be culled in compliance with the “1-7-10” protocol to manage, contain, and control the spread of the ASF.
The protocol requires that all pigs within the one-kilometer radius of infected farms will be culled, limit animal movement within seven-kilometer radius, and require swine farms within a 10-kilometer to submit a mandatory report on the disease.