Surigao Norte steps up measures vs. ASF

The provincial government of Surigao del Norte has stepped up measures to prevent the entry of the deadly African swine fever (ASF) in the area.

Provincial veterinarian, Dr. Life Shiela L. Cubillanes, told the Philippine News Agency ( PNA) on Tuesday that Governor Francisco T. Matugas' Executive Order (EO) 20 006 "strictly prohibits the entry of live hogs and pork related products from regions" affected by the highly contagious ASF.

Matugas issued the order on February 7 amid the spread of ASF in the Davao region and other parts of the country.

The order bans the entry of live hogs and pork products from Regions 11 (Davao region), 12 (Soccsksargen), and other areas in the country affected by ASF, Cubillanes said.

She also clarified that the inclusion of Region 12 in the order was due to the fact that products transported from the area usually pass through the Davao region.

Cubillanes made it clear that live hogs and pork products from non affected areas, such as Cagayan de Oro and Butuan, are still allowed in Surigao del Norte but must be subjected to certain regulations.

There must be certification indicating that the live hogs and pork products transported to the province are coming from regions not affected by ASF, she added.

Among the certifications, as indicated in the EO, are the Veterinary Health Certificate and the Veterinary Shipping Permit from the point of origin, Livestock Handlers' Permit and Livestock and Poultry Transport Carrier Registration from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Additional documents, such as Disinfection Clearance and Farm Registration from DA and BAI, must also be presented in quarantine checkpoints established by the provincial government.

Cubillanes said the province of Surigao del Norte has an estimated hog population of 49,473 heads with a total value of PHP420.5 million.

Aside from the 24 hour animal quarantine checkpoint that we implement, the provincial government also intensifies its information drive on ASF through radio programs and the social media, she said.

Regular blood sampling from hogs is conducted regularly in different municipalities in the province, she said.

We are also intensifying our animal health protection efforts, especially among the backyard hog raisers, by providing them vaccines and vitamins to strengthen the immune system of their livestock, she added.

Before the issuance of EO 20 006, Matugas issued EO 19 41 on Oct. 24, 2019, which established guidelines and protocols to prevent the entry of ASF in Surigao del Norte.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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