Monday, April 8, 2019

RP on Alert Against African Swine Fever

The government is on heightened alert to prevent the entry of a deadly virus that may affect the swine industry in the country, the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary Enrico Garzon, Jr. said that AWF is a deadly virus that if a pig can contact the virus, 2-10 days it will die eventually and will also affect the whole herds in just a span of few days.

“The problem with this virus is that as of now there is no vaccine yet,” Garzon revealed.
Garzon said that swine is a multi-billion industry in the country, that is why the government is implementing all possible measures to prevent the entry of the said virus.

“DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) is heightening its monitoring and surveillance in all point of entry of the country from overseas, whether airport and seaport, to protect our swine farmers,” he said.
“We are also closely working with the Bureau of Customs to allow our personnel on x-ray area for baggage to prevent the entry of meat and meat by-products from affected countries,” he revealed. 
Countries currently affected with ASF were Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and China.
However, Garzon clarified that the public should not panic on ASF since it will not affect other animals and or human.
“ASF is a virus-specific on swine. Since it is host specific, it won’t affect on a cow, or other animals, and even on human,” he said.
Historically, the first outbreak was recognized as having occurred in 1907 after ASF was first described in 1921 in Kenya, hence its name has been derived, and it is a reemerging disease on swine. 
Signs of illness include high fever, weakness, and decreased appetite. The skin may be reddened, or have blackened lesions, especially on the tail, ears, and lower legs
DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol issued a memorandum, declaring the temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild pigs and their products including pork meat and semen originating from Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and China.

Piñol also ordered the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance of the said commodities.
In Caraga Region, Doctor Dale Franco Llentic, Regional Veterinary Quarantine Officer said that precautionary measures have been implemented in seaports and airports.

“We are strictly implementing footbath on points of entry here in Caraga Region as well as the hanging of streamers to raise awareness of the public on the said disease,” Llentic said. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)