PIG CHECKPOINTS: City Council moves to stop entry of ASF virus

(Photo from gettyimages.ae)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

SWINE checkpoints will be conducted in entry points to Iloilo City as a preventive measure against the African Swine Flu (ASF) virus.

This, as the Sangguniang Panlungsod on Tuesday approved a resolution mandating concerned government agencies to conduct checkpoints and surveillance, intensified information dissemination on ASF, and disinfection of swine carriers.

According to the proponent of the resolution, Councilor Lyndon Acap, the move was in response to the recommendation of the Regional Agriculture Fishery Council (RAFC) requiring all local government units in the region to pass an ordinance temporarily banning the entry of swine in the cities and provinces in the region due to the threat of ASF.

While the city remains ASF-free in the city, Acap emphasized that it is better to conduct precautionary measures as the virus is deadly.

Ini tanan para sa proteksyon naton diri sa siyudad kag probinsya sang Iloilo kag para man masigurado naton nga tanan nga ginaconsume naton nga karne sang baboy safe para makapangaman man kita because prevention is better than cure,” he stressed.

The City Veterinarian Office, City Health Office, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), City Department of Interior and Local Government Office and the Department of Agriculture (DA) will be mandated to conduct swine checkpoints, surveillance, and information dissemination, Acap added.

“With that resolution, we can conduct checkpoints in the main streets, national highways and anywhere in the vicinity of Iloilo City as part of the surveillance. Ang aton selected government agencies, they will have the mandate to do the checkpoints and surveillance,” he said.

Acap warned that swine that are transported without permits will be intercepted and confiscated in the checkpoints.

Bag-o itransport kinahanglan may nagakaigo nga mga papeles sila nga inang baboy nga gina-transport matinlo, healthy kag wala masakit. Indi naton pagpasugtan nga nagasulod sa siyudad sang Iloilo ang mga wala sang papeles nga mga baboy,” he said.

Swine transported in the city should have veterinarian health certificate, a certification from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), or certification from other designated officers, according to Acap.

The deadly ASF virus has been affecting the countries near the Philippines particularly Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Hong Kong.

Recently, the national government declared a temporary ban on the importation and distribution of pork meat products without veterinarian health certificate and a relevant shipping permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry.

ASF virus is considered one of the major threats to swine production as it is potentially fatal and can be spread through direct or indirect contact.

There is no cure or vaccine for the virus.