Baguio on guard vs ASF

DESPITE the zero cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Baguio City, the public is advised to be observant in the procurement of pork products.

In the weekly Talakayan sa Environment Code of the Baguio Regreening Movement (BRM) radio forum, City Veterinarian Doctor Bridgette Piok said none of the 10 percent backyard piggeries in Baguio City were tested positive for ASF.

“We don’t have cases of ASF Baguio City, 90% of our pork meat products come from the city slaughter house and the other 10% comes from outside the city,” Piok explained.

Piok reported that primarily, all pig products coming from the outside the city enters Baguio with valid health certificates and shipping permits.

“Without these shipping permits, they are not allowed to enter the city. Pig products being bought at the city public market are safe as the city ensures a regular and strict inspection of these products that are clean and undergoes the regulation process specified by the National Meat Inspection Services or NMIS,” Piok added.

Meanwhile, the total lockdown on the entry of all live pigs in the province of Benguet stays until such time that the Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture (BAI-DA) gives the assurance into the safety of the swine industry based on the February 5 Executive Order (EO) 2020-010 issued by Governor Melchor Diclas.

The lockdown includes Baguio City, which is located at the center of the province.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) Cordillera also confirmed ASF cases in the province of Kalinga and continues to partner with the respective local government units (LGUs) that lead efforts to manage, control and contain the disease.

In a report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, DA-CAR director Cameron Odsey said the ASF-affected areas are the towns of Tanudan, Bulanao and Tabuk, all in Kalinga; and in Beckel, La Trinidad, and Camp 1, Tuba, both in Benguet.

Blood samples of hogs from the five areas were sent to both the DA's Bureau of Animal Industry's (DA-BAI) and regional animal disease diagnosis and reference laboratories were found positive for ASF.

Odsey said a composite team of DA-CAR, DA-BAI, respective provincial and city veterinary, and municipal agriculture offices validated the reported swine deaths in Kalinga and Benguet.

Dar instructed both the DA-BAI and DA-CAR to undertake the needed measures to control the spread of ASF to other adjoining areas, in strong partnership with respective LGUs, particularly with their provincial and city veterinarians and livestock technicians.

These include technical assistance at quarantine checkpoints to strictly implement the 1-7-10 protocol, and during culling of all hogs, infected or not, within the one-kilometer radius.


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