MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Monday (November 4) said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is working with other government agencies in carrying out heightened quarantine procedures against African Swine Fever (ASF).
“We will continue to elevate and enhance our quarantine measures,” Dar said.
The DA is now coordinating with the Department of Health thru the Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA) regarding the enhanced procedures aiming at preventing further spread of the deadly pig virus.
Dar stressed that the local government units will serve as the lead quarantine officers at the local level with assistance from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) who then are the lead agencies in regulating meat products across the country.
Secretary Dar has again reminded small backyard raisers to immediately report to their respective city, municipal or provincial veterinarian any sign of disease or deaths of pigs in their area.
Likewise, he urged backyard raisers to refrain from swill feeding particularly leftover food coming from inbound airline flights, hotels, and restaurants to prevent further spread of the virus.
The Secretary noted that the ASF virus can be easily controlled and contained with the cooperation from local government, hog raisers and traders and with the strict implementation of the quarantine measures set by the department.
“There is a standard protocol implemented since Day 1,” Dar said.
“But because of the non-cooperation of some provinces, we are now elevating our quarantine measures,” he added.
In view of the ongoing outbreak, Secretary Dar meanwhile appealed to hog traders not to take advantage of the situation.
“It is a crime to sell, trade, and/or slaughter sick or dead pigs for meat or for processed pork products,” he warned.
He added that violators could face imprisonment from 6 to 12 years or fine of P100,000 to P1 million or both under the law.