Davao City bans pigs, pork products from Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental

Subscribe Now February 21, 2020 at 09:04am

Mayor Sara Duterte has banned the entry of live pigs and pork products from Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental, amid the African swine fever (ASF) threat.

“We will not allow any products coming from those provinces. We do not have a case here in Davao City and we’d like to keep it that way,” the mayor said.

She said the ban, effective Monday, February 3, was a necessary move "to further protect the hog industry and hog farmers here in our city."

She added that quarantine checkpoints had been set up in entry and exit points to the city.

The mayor also cited an executive order she signed in September 2019, at the height of the ASF outbreak in Luzon, urging local swine raisers to practice strict biosecurity and good animal husbandry practices in their farms.

“When pigs are fed with ASF-contaminated meat, it is one way of contracting the disease,” Sara said.

The first cases of ASF in Mindanao were reported in Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental in January or 6 months after an outbreak was announced in Luzon.

As this developed, the Koronadal City government in South Cotabato announced that at least 40 pigs were culled after showing signs of ASF.

In radio reports monitored here, Koronadal City Mayor Eliordo Ogena said the hogs were bought by a local businessman from Sulop, Davao del Sur, in December.

Ogena said while they were still awaiting the laboratory results to confirf if the pigs were positive for ASF.

But even then, measures had been taken to isolate the incident if indeed the pigs were infected with the ASF virus.

Mindanao Development Authority Chairman Emmanuel Piñol said soldiers and policemen had been tapped to ensure that no hogs or pork products could come out of Davao Occidental.

“Quarantine measures are needed to prevent the spread of the virus,” Piñol said.

The Koronadal City experience, however, suggested that the virus had already reached other areas.

South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo told reporters in Koronadal City on Tuesday, February 4, that initial reports indicated that the pigs that were culled had come from Davao del Sur. This was still being investigated and verified.

Sulop is among the areas that Don Marcelino residents had traded pigs with through the so-called viajeros or traveling traders.

Viajeros would come to the town, purchase locally-grown pigs, and bring them to other areas to sell at profit.

Ogena said if confirmed that the pigs had ASF positive, it would pose a serious threat to the province's hog industry.

The South Cotabato hog industry is a major player with the South Cotabato Swine Producers Association (SOCOSPA) producing 45,000 heads per month from its 20 big farms alone.

Source: rappler.com

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