THE provincial government of Negros Oriental has imposed a total ban on pigs, pork, and byproducts from nearby Cebu province following the first reported African swine fever (ASF) case in Carcar City.
The total ban will be in effect for the next 45 days based on an executive order issued on March 3, said Ophelia Felisilda, chief operations officer of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), told the Philippine News Agency on Thursday.
“(The late) Governor Degamo signed and issued the executive order on the total ban even before the news of the ASF cases in Carcar City came out, to prevent the swine industry in Negros Oriental from being affected by the animal disease,” she said in mixed English and Cebuano.
On Wednesday, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Region 7 confirmed the first ASF case in Carcar City, after 58 of 149 pig blood samples tested positive last March 1.
The BAI statement said the animals tested were from Negros Island, although it did not specify which of the two provinces – Oriental or Occidental – the pigs came from.
Cebu province has also banned the entry of pigs and pork-related by-products from Negros Island following the detection of ASF cases in Carcar.
Meanwhile, Felisilda said that as of March 8, Negros Oriental remains ASF-free, based on reports from 17 of the 25 local government units (LGUs) submitted to the PVO.
Last month, the BAI conducted a seminar-training on pig blood sampling for the LGUs, she said.
She added the PVO has one animal diagnostic laboratory in this provincial capital where they can run blood samples for animal disease testing.
Felisilda said an emergency meeting will be held Friday among government agencies and stakeholders amid the ASF cases in Cebu to discuss the impact of the ban on swine businesses in the province.
Although the ASF does not have any health implications on humans, people who eat ASF-infected pork and by-products can be “carriers” of the virus that could spread to the pigs, she added. (PNA)
March 10, 2023
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