CITY OF ZAMBOANGA: A SUSPECTED outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) here has forced the local government to ban the transport or entry of live pigs and pork products including its by-products from Vitali district to prevent its spread .
The Office of the City Veterinarian (Ocvet) has asked the police and the army to set up a checkpoint in the village of Tagasilay pending confirmation of the series of tests it has carried out in some villages by Vitali.
The Bureau of Animal Industry of the Ministry of Agriculture has not yet declared the outbreak of the disease.
Vitali is one of the seven veterinary districts made up of the villages of Tigbalabag, Taguiti, Tumitus, Vitali, Tagasilay, Mangusu, Tictapul, Limaong, Licomo and Sibulao.
Apart from the Tagasilay checkpoint, the local government also maintains another checkpoint in the village of Licomo, on the border of Zamboanga Sibugay province.
City veterinarian Dr Mario Arriola urged the public not to resort to panic buying and businessmen not to raise the prices of pork products. He said the Ocvet, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, will intensify monitoring of pork product prices and strengthen surveillance and census initiatives.
The local government has previously said it is investigating mysterious pig deaths in at least three villages, fearing ASF has reached Zamboanga.
Members of the Zamboanga Town African Swine Fever Task Force also met to address the issues and concerns surrounding the unusual pig mortalities since April in the villages of Pasonanca, Pasobolong and Mangusu.
Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar has ordered strict border controls to prevent entry of the deadly swine disease. Climaco-Salazar stressed the need to immediately adapt the national African swine fever prevention program to protect Zamboanga from the dreaded animal disease and also to protect the pork industry and stakeholders.
City veterinary staff continue to inspect and disinfect trucks transporting live pigs and other animals to Zamboanga, the mayor said, adding that strict protocols are also being observed to monitor and regulate entry. pork and pork products here as a measure against the spread. contagious animal disease.
The African swine fever virus is transmitted by direct contact, by ingestion of garbage or food containing infected unprocessed pork or pork meat products, ticks and biting flies, and by premises, vehicles, equipment and contaminated clothing. Although not a threat to human health, African swine fever is capable of wiping out the entire pork industry. No vaccine or treatment exists to fight the virus.