BONTOC, Mountain Province – The provincial government issued a temporary ban on the entry of live swine or pigs, fresh or frozen, and pork products in the province to prevent the eventual entry of the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) virus that will have a serious negative impact to the local hog industry.
Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. stated that there is a need to implement a risk mitigation measure to avert the potential entry of the dreaded ASF virus in the province to help safeguard and protect the local swine industry.
Currently, the agriculture department claimed that the Cordillera remains free from the ASF virus but there is a need for concerned local governments to embrace the necessary mitigating measures to prevent the entry of the same that will affect the local hog industry.
While ASF has not been proven to be harmful to humans, the local chief executive pointed out that the ASF virus causes deadly hemorrhagic fever in domestic and wild pigs which could wipe out a country’s hog population as there is no known vaccine or cure for the same once it is noted to be present in a certain area.
Under the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government code of the Philippines, every local government shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local governments shall ensure the support, among other things, promote health and safety.
Earlier, the agriculture department has imposed a temporary ban on the entry of pork products coming from various countries as one of the strategies to prevent the introduction of ASF virus in the Philippines.
Based on the agency’s advisory, abnormal swine deaths in backyard farms in some areas specifically in Luzon has been discovered, thus, local governments had been advised to embrace appropriate mitigating measures to prevent the spread of the virus in their areas of jurisdiction.
Lacwasan directed the concerned agencies and offices of the provincial government to implement quarantine checkpoints in the different entry points as one of the strategies enshrined to prevent the entry of swine and hogs in the province until such time that the agriculture department shall have declared the country free from the said dreaded virus.
He urged the residents to immediately report to the nearest veterinary office any unusual observations on their pigs so that appropriate tests and analysis could be done to check on whether or not the same are affected with the ASF virus for them to be provided with the necessary measures that will be undertaken.
He urged hog raisers to cooperate with the temporary ban on the entry of pork meat products in the different parts of the province because it is geared towards the overall protection of the industry from the presence of a virus that could eventually damage the lucrative industry in the future.
Mountain Province is one of the local governments that was able to implement a temporary ban on the entry of pork meat products in its area of jurisdiction for the protection of the local swine industry. By HENT