Ilocos Norte beefs up protocols vs. African swine fever

Cargo trucks entering Ilocos Norte will have to undergo stricter inspection at the quarantine checkpoints to keep the province free from African swine fever (ASF).

In a telephone interview with provincial veterinarian Dr. Loida Valenzuela on Monday, she reported that around 400 kilos of undocumented pork have been confiscated from cargo truck operators passing through the Ilocos Norte border over the past three weeks.

According to Valenzuela, some pork samples were taken by the Provincial Veterinary Office while the remaining meat was immediately disposed of.

“The confiscated items in Batac City and Laoag came from endemic zones, some were found slimy so we have to dispose (of) them immediately,” said Valenzuela.

As a precautionary measure, Valenzuela has recommended to the governor to prohibit hog traders to roam around in the barangays to buy from small farm hog raisers.

Also, a Task Force ASF-Free Ilocos Norte was created last year to implement the protective and remedial measures against the adverse effects of swine disease in the province.

Earlier this month, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has started to register and accredit traders, requiring them to attend seminars on biosecurity and animal welfare and the submission of necessary documents for the transport of hogs.

Based on the latest monitoring of the PVO, Valenzuela reported that they noticed a slight increase in pork prices from PHP220 to PHP240 per kilo of lean meat while the farmgate price of live weight hog remained at PHP130 to PHP140.

With this, the local government units concerned are considering regulating the outflow of pork products to help stabilize its prices.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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