THE Bacolod City Council urged Mayor Evelio Leonardia to create an African Swine Fever (ASF) task force to monitor and prevent the entry of ASF-contaminated pork and pork products from entering the city.
Councilor Bartolome Orola, who authored a resolution that was approved during the City Council's session last week, said the ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs that can easily spread from one farm to another if not properly managed, thereby causing economic and production losses.
He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently announced that the blood sample from incident reports of the suspected swine disease from Rizal province sent for confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests has tested positive for ASF.
"Although the DA has put in place various appropriate measures to effectively manage, contain, and control the situation, there is a need to remain vigilant and to conduct monitoring, surveillance, and quarantine measures as the need arises, so that ASF will not spread to various cities including our own Bacolod City," he added.
Orola noted the routes of transmission could either be through direct contact with infected domestic or wild pigs, or indirect contact through ingestion of contaminated material.
He said the province of Negros Occidental has created its own ASF task force to conduct a province-wide monitoring to prevent entry of ASF in various point of entries of Negros province.
"There is a need for the City of Bacolod to have our own ASF Task Force that will be in the forefront of safeguarding our local swine industry, as well as strengthening our response capabilities and monitoring capacities to prevent the entry of contaminated pork and pork products to the City of Bacolod," he said.
Orola said the public should also need to be aware that although ASF disease does not pose any hazard or risk to humans, they have to be vigilant in buying meat and meat products, and patronize those products sold in public markets with appropriate National Meat Inspection Service seal and veterinary health certificate issued by the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry and veterinary office of Bacolod.