THE Davao City Veterinarian’s Office has imposed even more stringent measures to prevent the resurgence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Davao City.

This, after a pig slaughtered at the Maa Slaughterhouse tested positive for ASF during a postmortem inspection last June 20, 2022.

In an interview with the City Information Office Monday, Dr. Maria Corazon Sepulveda of the Davao City Veterinarian’s Office said the ASF-positive slaughtered animal was immediately properly disposed of. The hog was initially cleared during the antemortem inspection as the virus is difficult to detect in live animals. However, the postmortem inspection showed that the hog—traced back to Banga, South Cotabato which has yet to declare an outbreak—was indeed infected with the virus.

After this was confirmed, the City Veterinarian’s Office temporarily shut down the Maa Slaughterhouse from June 22 to June 26, 2022 for thorough disinfection. The Malagos Slaughterhouse was then temporarily opened to cater to clients from Maa. Stockyards and slaughterhouses in the city were ordered to sanitize and disinfect their areas.

“There is continuous cleaning and disinfection. Actually, binigyan natin sila ng disinfectant para po ma-clean nila ang area nila (we gave them disinfectant so they can clean their area). And then there’s continuous surveillance and monitoring po sa atin,” she said.

Due to the highly contagious nature of the disease, Sepulveda said their office is currently conducting daily antemortem and postmortem inspections of hogs and hog carcasses all over the city. Public Markets and stockyards are also under strict surveillance. The city’s slaughterhouses, cold storage, and processing plants are closely monitored.

Stockyards in Bangkerohan are currently closed and will be under tight monitoring after one stockyard specimen from the area tested positive for ASF. Sepulveda said this prompted the office to cull all hogs in the establishment and to temporarily close all stockyards in the city.

“Kailangan po naming mag-continuous monitoring sa palengke, sa mga stockyards, although ang Bangkerohan ngayon walang laman ang kanilang mga stockyards kasi gi-close namin sila (We need to conduct continuous monitoring in public markets and stockyards although the stockyards in Bangkerohan Public Market are currently empty because we had to shut them down),” Sepulveda said.

On top of this, the City Veterinarian’s Office has also tightened border inspection of hogs coming into the city. Sepulveda said that farmers with commercial hogs coming from areas that have declared ASF outbreaks (red zones) and from areas that have not been flagged (green zones) must acquire an animal inspection certificate and an ASF-free certificate from the Veterinary Quarantine Services Department of the Department of Agriculture. However, non-commercial hogs or backyard hogs from outside of the city are not allowed entry.

“If backyard hogs coming from Davao City, okay lang po yan; dito lang po sila iikot sa Davao City pero with corresponding animal inspection certificate. Pero hogs from red zones and green zones na backyard, hindi po pwede pumasok sa atin. Kapag po commercial farm, meron po silang veterinary health certificate and ASF-free certification. Even from outside provinces that will come into Davao City from red zones even green zones na commercial, meron po silang ASF-free certificate good for seven days (If these are backyard hogs coming from Davao City, that is okay; they can move within the city but with corresponding animal inspection certificate. However, backyard hogs from both red and green zones are not allowed entry into our city. For commercial farmers, they must have a veterinary health certificate and ASF-free certification. The same applies for commercial farmers with hogs coming in from green or red zones outside of the city, they will have an ASF-free certificate good for seven days),” Sepulveda said.

The City Veterinarian’s Office assured Dabawenyo’s that the reported ASF infection at the Maa Slaughterhouse is an isolated case that was immediately addressed; as such, there is currently no outbreak of the virus in Davao City. DAVAO CIO