Davao Occidental imposes lockdown on pigs, pork products after first ASF case

Rappler.com
Davao Occidental imposes lockdown on pigs, pork products after first ASF case
Office of Civil Defense Director Liza Mazo activates the Regional Animal Disease Task Force after the presence of African swine fever is confirmed in Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Authorities have confirmed Mindanao’s first case of African swine fever (ASF) and have set up a lockdown to “prohibit entry and exit” of live or wild pigs and stop the distribution and sale of pork meat and processed pork products across the province.

In a memorandum issued Friday, January 31, Office of Civil Defense Director Liza Mazo activated the Regional Animal Disease Task Force after the presence of ASF was confirmed in Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental.

Mazo cited a “confirmation” of the disease’s presence in the said town by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region 11, although officials there said they were still awaiting official pronouncements from the DA.

Don Marcelino Mayor Michael Maruya said at least 1,000 pigs had been affected in the villages of Linadasan, North Lamidan, South Lamidan, Calian, Mabuhay, Lawa, Nueva Villa and Baluntaya. (FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)

Maruya said residents of the town had been asked to cooperate with the measures recommended by the Department of Agriculture in Region 11 and the Davao Occidental Provincial Veterinary Office.

Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista had also called for an emergency meeting with Davao Occidental officials on Saturday, during which, he issued a circular to temporarily ban the entry and exit of wild or domesticated pigs to the province.

Checkpoints were immediately put up in the boundaries of Malalag town in Davao del Sur and Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental and Jose Abad Santos, Davao Occidental with Sarangani province.

“In view of the current suspected outbreak of African swine fever in the municipality of Don Marcelino, all are directed to impose strict compliance to prohibit entry and exit of live domestic and/or wild pigs in this province, as well as the distribution and sale of pork meat and their processed products province-wide, as part of the precautionary measures to prevent the widespread of this contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs which may cause threat to the health of the populace,” Bautista said.

Bautista also ordered a halt on the trading of pork and pork products in the province unless these were certified safe and ASF-free by government veterinarians.

“Ensure that only swine/pigs with valid certification from the Municipal Veterinarian are accepted in slaughterhouses,” he said.

Bautista also urged residents to be vigilant and help in enforcing the ban.

He said officials, up to the barangay level, should assure the proper disposal of condemned carcasses and parts and immediately report cases of the said disease in their respective localities.

Bautista also ordered the decontamination of the affected Don Marcelino areas. – Rappler.com

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