Bohol bans pig imports due to African swine fever
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol –– The province of Bohol has banned the importation of pigs and pig products due to the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.
“I am ordering the temporary ban on the transportation of live pigs, pork and pork-related products into Bohol unless accompanied by Veterinary Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian and the appropriate shipping permit,” said Bohol Gov. Arthur Yap in a statement on Tuesday.
The disease, which is incurable in pigs but harmless to humans, has spread rapidly across China and Vietnam.
The Philippines remains free of ASF, but hog raisers still want tighter import restrictions.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) imposed a temporary ban on pork imports from Laos, the latest Southeast Asian country to be hit by ASF.
The former agriculture secretary said the ban was due to the reported worsening situation in Luzon where the DA “has refused to confirm or deny suspected cases of hog deaths due to ASF.”
He said Bohol would also not accept pork meat and pork-related products unless accompanied by the appropriate Certificate of Meat Inspection from the National Meat Inspection Service.
Yap will issue a memo to concerned Bohol mayors to help assign personnel to assist in the port quarantine efforts while the Provincial Veterinarian has been asked to coordinate with the municipal mayors, the municipal agricultural officers, the barangay livestock aide, and technicians to heighten their monitoring of farms.
Yap said he would issue instructions for the hog farmers to avoid swine swill feeding and the immediate installation of biosecurity measures such as putting up of foot baths and regular disinfection of farms.
Veterinary health programs such as vaccination against health cholera and de-worming must also be implemented.
“Considering that the hog industry in Bohol affects more than 30,000 households in 21 municipalities valued at more than 6 billion pesos, we have to be pro-active in ensuring the protection and sustainability of our local hog industry,” he said. /lzb
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