The entire province of Davao Occidental has been put under a state of calamity, with up to 10,000 hogs affected by African swine fever, Gov. Claude Bautista said Tuesday.
Speaking to CNN Philippines, Bautista said ASF cases were recently confirmed in the towns of Don Marcelino and Malita. The province has been put on lockdown, with the entry and exit of all hogs and pork products banned.
Don Marcelino has already implemented a total ban on the transport and sale of hogs, all pork products, and by-products since Jan. 31 after about 1,000 pigs died of the disease.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said Monday that at least eight barangays in Don Marcelino were affected by the outbreak. The villages were cordoned off to prevent the spread of the disease, Dar said.
The city government of Davao has banned the entry of live pigs, pork meat and other pork-related products coming from two neighboring provinces beginning Monday.
Mayor Sara Duterte said the move was necessary following the confirmed ASF case in Davao Occidental and a suspected case in Davao del Sur.
“This morning [Monday], I received a report that there is a suspected case in Davao del Sur for ASF. We will no longer wait for the result of the tests. We include the banning of their province to further
protect the hog industry and hog farmers here in our city,” she said.
“We will not allow any products coming from those provinces. We do not have a case here in Davao City and we’d like to keep it that way,” she said.
In September last year, Duterte signed Executive Order 39 that enforces a temporary ban on all live pigs, pork and pork-related products and by-products whether fresh, frozen, processed or cooked
but not limited to frozen boar semen from the entire island of Luzon and other ASF-affected areas.
The provisions of the Executive Order mandated the swine raisers in Davao City to practice strict biosecurity and good animal husbandry practices in their farms. It also mandates strict vigilance on swine raisers to report suspicious mortality of their pigs to the City Veterinarian’s Office for verification.
“We already banned it in Luzon and this time the order expanded to Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur,” the mayor said.
Duterte also assured the public that personnel from the City Veterinarian’s Office were also deployed in the entry and exit points of the city to ensure that no pigs or pork products can enter the city.
She also reminded the public to avoid swill feeding.
“When pigs are fed with ASF contaminated meat, it is one way of contracting the disease,” Duterte said.
On the other hand, Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Emmanuel Piñol called on hog industry stakeholders to help contain the disease by lending their “power sprayers, preferably motorized, disinfectants, empty drums, wide galvanized pans for footbaths and tents.”
“We will be employing policemen and soldiers to make sure nothing comes out of Don Marcelino and its neighboring town Jose Abad Santos,” Piñol said.
He said it is important to contain the problem and prevent the spread of the disease by immediately implementing quarantine measures.
North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco created a task force on ASF to prevent the entry of the viral diseas into the province.
“The task force will also act as a crisis-hazard and risk management team,” Catamco said.
During the management committee meeting, Catamco approved the recommendation of Dr. Rufino Sorupia, provincial veterinarian, for the creation of the task force following the discovery of ASF cases in the Davao Occidental town of Don Marcelino, which is about 150 kilometers away from North Cotabato.
Sorupia said there are more than 200,000 hogs in the North Cotabato.
He said his office has organized teams to closely monitor entry points to the province to prevent and control the access of livestock affected by ASF and ensure the strict implementation of the provincial veterinary quarantine protocol.
The Province of Negros Occidental has prohibited the entry of live pigs, pork products and pork-based items coming from Davao Region.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson directed all city and municipal mayors to enforce the ban.
Lacson, the chairperson of the Provincial ASF Task Force, told local chief executives to implement preventive measures in their respective areas of jurisdiction and enjoined local government units (LGUs) to coordinate their activities with the task force to ensure a coordinated response and action throughout the province.
Measures include the conduct of rigid and stringent screening and inspection of incoming shipments of live animals and pork products from Mindanao, and holding of checkpoints to intercept and control the movement of live animals, pork, pork products, and other related items entering the province.
Undocumented shipments of live animals, animal products and by-products would be confiscated, Lacson said.