THE Zamboanga City Government, in coordination with national government agencies, is keeping close watch against the threat of African swine fever (ASF).
Dr. Mario Arriola, Office of the City Veterinarian chief, said they are in close coordination with other agencies to closely monitor entry points and markets to prevent entry of contaminated meat in this souhern port city.
Arriola said a task force dubbed “Task Force Karne” will be convened on Thursday, June 13, and will carry out strike operations.
He added that to date, the Department of Agriculture (DA) together with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued bans against 17 countries that has reported ASF.
These are Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Polan, Romania, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and North Korea.
Arriola said the local government is also closely working with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for vessels coming in from affected countries to ensure that no refuse or waste will be disposed or dumped in this city’s waters as they may contain strains of the ASF.
He assured the public that the ASF does not affect human beings, but caution is still of great importance and strongly urged as the disease is devastating to the hog industry. (Bong Garcia/SunStar Philippines)