DA-5 steps up efforts to prevent ASF entry

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)— Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 5 OIC Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla has intensified measures to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Bicol.

In an interview by the Bicol Standard, Tornilla said they have activated the Quick Response Team to implement complementary measures and intensify surveillance.

“We have also augmented the number of personnel manning the animal checkpoints in all entry points to Bicol, particularly the BAI Checkpoint in Tabugon, Camarines Norte,” he explained.

“Live pigs with no proper transport permit and Veterinary Health Certificate are not allowed entry,” he maintained.

Tornilla assured Bicolanos that so far, the region has no recorded cases of ASF, or massive and abnormal deaths or mortalities of pigs in the region.

 “We have reports of swine raisers making incorrect assumptions  that their pigs have the dreaded swine fever. We caution the public against these unconfirmed reports as they only cause alarm to the public,” he said.

“We wish to remind our swine raisers to enhance their biosecurity measures, promptly report any unusual animal deaths in their respective farms, and avoid swill feeding,” he added.

Meantime, consumers, he said, are advised to remain vigilant when buying meat and meat products, and to always look for the NMIS seal as a guarantee.

Lastly, the Executive Director clarified that ASF does not pose hazard or risk to humans.

“That said, we are taking stringent measures to prevent the entry of contaminated meat and processed meat products into our territory, as these can possibly cause the spread of the virus to our local pigs,” he concluded.