Livestock transport carriers and hog vans from Luzon, Mindanao, and other areas affected by the African swine fever (ASF) are not allowed to enter Iloilo province if they could not present a disinfection certificate from the point of origin or port of exit.
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Friday, Jan. 22, signed Executive Order 22 for the implementation of the ban as among the measures to protect the hog industry in this part of the country.
The EO states that Iloilo province has been identified as a “Free Zone (Dark Green Zone)” under the National Zoning and Movement Plan for the Prevention and Control of the African Swine Fever” by the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The Free Zone (Dark Green Zone) is defined as a geographical limit, which remains free from the ASF virus, it said.
Pork traders have to source live pigs from Iloilo and other ASF-free areas due to the continued spread of ASF cases in Luzon and Mindanao that led to a shortage in supply.
“Livestock transport carriers and hog vans coming from Luzon, Mindanao and ASF-affected areas reaching the province are potential agents of transmission of the disease through feces, urine, and fomites,” the EO stated.
In an interview earlier this week, DA regional executive director Remelyn R. Recoter urged the public to be vigilant in order to protect the PHP20-billion hog industry in Western Visayas.
She said border restrictions are strictly imposed and hog vans and other animal stocks carriers must be disinfected upon entry on borders.
Apart from total disinfection, traders will be asked to present their certificate of disinfection from their port of origin.
She said that almost all regions in Luzon except for Mimaropa are already affected by the ASF.
The virus has also spread in several municipalities in Leyte in Eastern Visayas.
She enjoined the people of Western Visayas to be very vigilant for any suspicious mortalities in piggery farms both commercial and backyard.
This has to be reported to their barangay officials, municipal agriculturist and technicians so that a response team will be immediately dispatched to the ground zero, she said.
Further, she said that buying pork and pork products online should be avoided because the source of their raw product is unknown.Perla Lena/PNA