MisOr, CDO heighten regulation of livestock transport to thwart ASF Cases

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Starting Dec 2020, the Misamis Oriental (MisOr) provincial government, together with CDO’s local government unit, regulated the movement of livestock vehicles in and out of the borders to protect its pig farm industry from the continuing threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak.

MisOr Governor Yevgeny Emano ordered a temporary ban on the entry of pigs and pork products coming from backyard farms anywhere in the Philippines.

Emano issued an executive order (EO) after the Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 10 reported the first confirmed ASF case in MisOr found at Barangay Pugaan, Iligan City in Nov 2020.

Provincial Veterinarian Benjamin Resma said in a statement that all live hogs, both from commercial and backyard farms, as well as pork and pork product shipment from Iligan City, are temporarily banned from distribution.

For pork and pork products, the shipment must have an accompanying valid Meat and Meat Products Inspection Certification from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and must be transported in a NMIS accredited Meat Conveyance.

Resma said that they have activated the local ASF Task Force to strengthen the prevention and surveillance activities.

In line with the provincial government’s motive is the city’s take towards the prevention of ASF in CDO. Councilor Jay Roa Pascual proposed an ordinance that would regulate the transport of livestock and sanction violators.

Pascual also said that the transport of livestock should be regulated even if there are pigs that were uninfected by the virus. He highlighted that the need of culling is needed among the uninfected hogs since the said pigs were once within the 100-meter radius of the confirmed infections.

According to the Chief of the City Veterinary Office, Dr. Lucien Anthony P. Acac on March 10, the total amount that represents the culled pigs in the two areas is now at 3,555.

Acac said that between February 10 and March 9, the city culled at least 2,350 pigs from 15 villages, affecting 633 backyard hog raisers. Dr. Resma, also reported that 1,205 pigs were culled from 333 hog raisers, affecting four municipalities – Initao, Manticao, Laguindingan, and Opol.

Transmission of the said virus is done through contact with an infected animal’s bodily fluids. It can be spread by ticks that feed on them. People can also be a source of spreading; as they can move the virus around through vehicles or clothing. With CDO being the capital city located in the center of MisOr, transport of pork for the rural areas has to pass through the city’s inspection, causing unavoidable contagious transmission of ASF.

Pascual reiterated that if the transport of livestock is uncontrolled, the virus will spread to other areas and threaten the food security of CDO which will soon also affect the provincial areas if left unregulated.

Currently, DA Region 10 Director Carlene Collado reminded online sellers of siomai, kikiam, longganisa, and other processed pork meat products to ensure the origin of their products and to secure business permits from their respective local government units (LGU).

The regional director also announced that transport of clean swine and pork products remains unhampered as long as they pass inspection standards. 

“Let us protect the remaining green zones of the region. Northern Mindanao is the third (highest) hog-producing region nationwide,” Collado added.C

Danica Armendarez

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