Soldiers guard against ASF entry in Zamboanga City
ZAMBOANGA CITY –– Soldiers trained in combat are now mandated to spot and inspect vehicles carrying pigs infected with African swine fever (ASF).
“We are not trained just in fighting a war, our troops now are trained to ensure that no pork meat or hog with African swine fever enters Zamboanga City,” said Colonel John Divinagracia, commander of Joint Task Force Zamboanga.
Before this assignment, Divinagracia said he registered his personnel in a three-day training and tapped resource speakers from the City Veterinary Office, Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Land Transportation Office, Philippine National Police, and Bureau of Customs.
“We want to deploy knowledgeable troops, who know about this ASF and they are deployed in areas, entry points commonly used in bringing in hogs and pork meat in the city,” Divinagracia said.
City Veterinarian Mario Arriola said soldiers would work together with their inspectors and personnel.
“We have six districts all over the city, we really lack personnel, it’s a big help that soldiers are helping our field personnel,” Arriola said.
He is confident that soldiers are trained enough to fight ASF.
“We have trained them. All they have to do is see to it that the meat and livestock distributors carry pertinent permits,” he said.
“Without these papers, the soldiers can instruct the shippers to return the animals back to their origin and prevent them from entering the city,” Arriola said.
Edited by LZB
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