Governor Melchor Diclas has issued an executive order, imposing a total lockdown on the entry of live pigs into the province starting February 6 to curb the spread of the African swine fever (ASF) in the whole of Benguet.
[As governor] do hereby issue a total lockdown on the entry of all live pigs into the province until such time that the Bureau of Animal Industry, Department of Agriculture (BAI-DA) of the assurance int he safety of the swine industry, the executive order (EO) 2020-010 issued on February 5 said.
The lockdown will include Baguio City, which is located at the center of the province.
It also ordered an inter-agency group, which includes the police, to strictly enforce animal quarantine protocols and food safety measures.
The order is an offshoot of the discovery of pigs in the province which was tested positive for ASF by the Animal Disease Diagnostic laboratory of the BAI-DA.
The EO noted that the big demand for pigs in the province made some unscrupulous persons bring in undocumented animals and also misdeclaring the sources of the animals.
It also said the swill feeding is being practiced by some people for their personal gains despite the earlier advice to shun such practice.
In an interview on Wednesday after receiving information of the positive result for ASF of samples obtained from a commercial piggery in Camp 1, Tuba, town and in Beckel, La Trinidad town, Diclas said they will have to do the lockdown as a preventive measure to curb the spread of the virus.
He said people in Benguet will have to temporarily make do with the consumption of pigs produced locally as there will surely be no live pigs that will be allowed.
Dr. Meriam Tiongan, provincial veterinary office chief on Thursday said they are doing a survey for the implementation of the "1-7-10 protocol."
Under the protocol, all pigs within a 1-kilometer radius where the ASF virus was discovered will be culled.
Within a 7-kilometer radius, authorities are conducting surveillance and limiting animal movement.
Farm owners within the 10-kilometer radius are mandated to report any disease to the DA.
Source: Philippines News Agency