The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched two programs aimed at revitalizing the swine industry, which continues to reel from the devastation caused by African swine fever (ASF).
The DA unveiled its Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay ASF) to strengthen monitoring and control against ASF at the barangay level as well as the Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) to hasten hog repopulation in ASF-affected areas, according to Bureau of Animal Industry Deputy Program Coordinator Samuel Joseph Castro.
Sammy Santos of the Parañaque City Veterinary Services Office expressed support for the DA’s efforts to prevent the spread of ASF and other communicable diseases.
“We ensure that all the meat sold here in Parañaque City is safe,” he said during the “Ang Bagong Hamon kay Super Pig” Tour at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).
Besides dissuading travelers from transporting pork and pork products, the tour also reminded the public to buy the said products from meat dealers with Meat Inspection Certificate (MIC) and from meat importers with Certificate of Meat Inspection (COMI)—both of which are issued by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
Farmers and hog raisers were also urged to ensure cleanliness in their farm and to regularly monitor the health and condition of their pigs.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) described ASF as “a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs” with no available vaccine, causing a 100 percent mortality rate.
Although deemed not dangerous to humans, the virus can survive on surfaces, pork and pork products; hence, “human behaviors can play an important role in spreading this pig disease across borders if adequate measures are not taken,” it said.
Castro reported that there are currently 11 regions, 21 provinces, 54 municipalities and cities, and 137 barangays with active ASF cases.