Iloilo province bans live hogs, pork products from Luzon, areas with ASF

ILOILO, Philippines –  Iloilo joined the increasing list of provinces and cities which are restricting the entry of live hogs and pork products into their territories to protect their livestock from being infected by the  African swine fever (ASF) virus.

For its hog blockade, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr issued an executive order Thursday, September 19, banning swine, pork, pork products and by-products from Luzon and countries or localities declared by the Department of Agriculture as postive for ASF.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed the ASF outbreaks in farms in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan. While the DA has blacklisted the following ASF-infected countries: Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Belgium, Bulgaria, Moldova, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, South Korea, and China.

“ASF is a threat to the swine industry and the food security of the province,” said Defensor, who promised to keep Iloilo free of the disease.

Provinces with exisiting versions of containment are CebuBoholMisamis Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Pampanga. Cities which sealed their border entries, particularly their seaports are Cebu City and Mandaue City.

The Iloilo governor has also ordered strict veterinary quarantine procedures and food safety measures of pork products. Only those with permits from the Bureau of Animal Industry will be allowed to enter Iloilo.

Seaports in the province and the Iloilo International Airport are also under quarantine check.

The governor said the banning of imports from Luzon and other countries will not affect the supply of meat in Iloilo because the province's pork requirements are sourced from Negros Occidental, Cagayan de Oro and Cebu.

The ASF virus is highly contagious and once a swine population is afflicted, the mortality rate is almost certainly 100%. It, however, has no effects on humans. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?– Rappler.com