Aklan mayors urged to enhance security vs African swine fever

STOP. One of hte animal quarantine checkpoints in Aklan province. Photo from Office of the Provincial Veterinarian

STOP. One of hte animal quarantine checkpoints in Aklan province.

Photo from Office of the Provincial Veterinarian

AKLAN, Philippines – The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan urged municipal mayors to implement stricter security measures on the heels of escalating number of cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Luzon and some countries in Asia. 

The enhanced security in seaports and airports, swine production and slaughterhouse facilities in Aklan will safeguard the local hog market. 

ASF rapidly spreads to wild boars and domestic pigs, but does not affect humans. No vaccine is currently available for ASF. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?

The provincial government of Aklan also beefed up its security by setting up 3 animal quarantine checkpoints in Altavas, Nabas and Buruanga, and augmented personnel of Bureau of Animal Quarantine assigned in Caticlan jetty port and Kalibo International Airport.

Caticlan port in Malay, Aklan is a major gateway in the western seaboard where 15 vessels loaded with 225 rolling cargoes, 5,500 passengers, 18 heads of live pigs and 6,800 metric tons of pork products pass daily. 

Kalibo airport also caters to regional flights from ASF-affected countries of China and South Korea. 

Likewise, the Aklan provincial board asked Agriculture Secretary William Dar to provide x-ray scanner machines for Algeria port in Buruanga, Aklan and Caticlan ports, as well as to deploy additional veterinary quarantine  personnel in the ports in Western Aklan. 

Last month, Aklan governor Florencio Miraflores issued an executive order declaring a 90-day temporary ban on pigs and pork-related products originating from the provinces in Luzon and ASF-affected countries and might be carriers of the deadly virus.

Miraflores also directed quarantine officers with the assistance of Philippine National Police to conduct random inspections in buses, vans and private vehicles to prevent possible entry of live swine and pork products into Aklan. – Rappler.com