Diclas issued on February 5 Executive Order No. 020 – 010 declaring the temporary lockdown on the entry of live pigs into the province of Benguet until such time a declaration is made by the Bureau of Animal Industry - Department of Agriculture (BAI-DA) of the assurance of the safety of the swine industry.
He explained that with the lockdown, there will be no transport and sale of live pigs to the province. The interagency Task Force on ASF composed of the Provincial Veterinarian, Quarantine Officers, Municipal Agriculture Offices, Bureau of Animal industry – Quarantine, DA-Regional Field Office and the Police Regional Office – Cordillera are enjoined to strictly enforce the animal quarantine protocols and food safety measures in the province specifically the major roads coming in and out of the province.
The temporary lockdown on the entry of pigs include ASF affected areas in Luzon particularly Pangasinan which is the ground zero of ASF nearest the province.
Diclas said the ASF virus has reached the province as confirmed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic Reference Laboratory, Bureau of Animal Industry. Samples obtained from a commercial piggery in Camp 1, Tuba and in Beckel, La Trinidad showed positive results for ASF virus.
The Governor said the entry of ASF virus was due to unscrupulous shippers who resorted to deceitful acts such as the transport of undocumented pigs using private vehicles to evade checkpoints, fake documents, misdeclaration of sources, unauthorized reproduction of ASF negative tests in order to bring in their commodities into the province.
Diclas issued on September 17, 2019 Executive Order 2019-36 declaring a temporary ban on the entry of live pigs, fresh and frozen pork and all pork products from provinces and cities affected by ASF.
Swill feeding was also banned to ensure safety of the pigs in the province but some devious swine raisers continually patronize food leftovers from restaurants in Baguio City.
These efforts complemented the intensified efforts of the provincial government in the implementation of Provincial Ordinance No. 18-227 or the Animal Quarantine Regulations of the Province of Benguet that delayed the entry of ASF virus in the province.
Meanwhile, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Merriam Tiongan said they are doing surveys for the implementation of the 1-7-10 Protocol to contain the virus in affected areas.
The 1-7-10 protocol means within one-kilometer radius from the site of infection or ground zero, hogs will be prohibited from entering or leaving the area, and the site will be eventually depopulated. In a seven-kilometer radius, hogs would be under surveillance with restricted movements, and blood testing would be done. For the 10-kilometer radius from ground zero, mandatory monitoring and reporting of swine disease occurrences shall be implemented. (JDP/ RMC- PIA CAR)
By Redjie Melvic M. Cawis