Region 8 remains free from ASF

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Created on Friday, 07 February 2020 Published Date

Eastern Visayas remains free from the highly contagious viral disease on pigs called African swine fever or ASF. This was learned during the inter-agency meeting held on February 4, 2020 at the Hotel Consuelo, Tacloban City.

DA-8 Regional Executive Director Angel C. Enriquez presided over the meeting which was attended by the members of the Regional Advisory Council for Animal Disease Control and Emergency, together with the provincial and city veterinary offices. Discussion centered on the updates of the outbreak of African swine fever in the country.

Dr. Leo D. Mira, Regional Veterinary Quarantine Officer disclosed that an outbreak was reported recently in Mindanao, particularly in the municipalities of Don Marcelino and Malita, both in the Province of Davao Occidental. Other two municipalities, Sta. Maria and Jose Abad Santos were put under surveillance in order to control the spread and eliminate the disease.

The Department of Agriculture shall be strictly implementing the 1-7-10 protocol in the affected areas. Under which, destruction of infected animals and quarantine checkpoints are established in areas within 1-kilometer radius of suspected farms. Surveillance and limited animal movement are enforced within 7-kilometer radius, while farm-owners are mandated to report related cases within the 10-kilometer radius.

While there is still no confirmed case in the region, the Department of Agriculture need to step up its measures against the disease considering that Eastern Visayas serve as main link between Luzon and Mindanao. Various plans and strategies were tackled during the meeting to stop the disease from entering the region.

Among the major points considered was strengthening the role of local government units in surveillance and monitoring. The provincial government units were encouraged to issue an executive order and adopt measures that would prevent the spread of ASF in their respective areas.

The advisory council agreed to pass a resolution on implementing such ban on the entry of live hogs and meat products which are coming, not only from Luzon, but also of Mindanao. Another was to reinforce the veterinary quarantine offices, as well as the local government units on border control by deputizing quarantine inspectors.

The Department of Agriculture shall also look into strengthening the local hog industry in order to maintain the supply of pork in the region is sufficient.

RED Enriquez lauded the presence of partner agencies and local government units in the meeting. “This is a manifestation on how the government is serious in addressing the issue and ensuring the safety of its constituents,” she said.

Moreover, she urged the group to sustain the strong partnership and collaboration through the inter-agency meeting which will be conducted regularly in order to keep everyone abreast of the situation and necessary steps are undertaken to maintain the region free from ASF.  (PAUL NIGEL D. CUSTODIO, Information Officer I, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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