Cagayan de Oro City—The Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Animal Industry in Northern Mindanao have tapped the Philippine National Police and the local government units to prevent the spread of the African swine fever in the region.
As of Friday, BAI said, it had held orientations about ASF among PNP personnel and barangay officials in Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon, said Jake Sepe, the agency’s veterinary officer.
Sepe said Bukidnon had nine ASF checkpoints and while Cagayan de Oro had four.
Last month, Mindanao recorded its first African swine fever outbreak, with the entire Davao region put on lockdown and at least 13,000 hogs culled.
The Department of Agriculture has imposed border control across Northern Mindanao to prevent the entry of pork and pork-based products from Davao and Caraga.
The outbreak began in the town of Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental on Jan. 31 after about 1,000 pigs died of the disease.
Northern Mindanao has the third-largest swine industry in the country, data from the Department of Agriculture showed, accounting for nearly a million swine population with a total estimated value of P25 billion.
Agriculture chief William Dar said commercial and backyard hog growers in Davao had already incurred an estimated P79.81 million in revenue losses after the dreaded ASF outbreak
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered all government agencies and local government units to ensure the “strict” implementation of the DA’s nationwide zoning plan for ASF to control and contain the spread of the fatal hog disease.
“The African swine fever, despite having no known effect on humans, is a severe and highly contagious viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs, with a case-fatality rate approaching 100 percent, caused by a resistant virus with no developed cure to date,” Duterte said in his Administrative Order 22.
Bukidnon borders the Davao Region where the ASF outbreak was reported, particularly in Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur.
“We are prepared at our entry and exit points,” Sepe said in a telephone interview.
Aside from the installation of footbaths at designated quarantine areas, Sepe said, they were also profiling cargo vehicles suspected of carrying livestock infected with ASF.
“We are closely monitoring vehicles, especially those coming from affected areas, and check those that are suspicious-looking, he said.
Carlota Madriaga, DA-10 technical director, said the region ranked as the third-highest producer of hogs in the country.
The Philippine Statistics Authority says Northern Mindanao produced 56.61 thousand metric tons of live hogs from October to December 2019.
To prevent the disease from spreading further, both the Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental provincial governments have declared a ban on pigs and pork products.