By Restituto Cayubit
TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit for Eastern Visayas has intensified its efforts to prevent the entry of African swine fever (ASF) to the region.
Milo de los Reyes, the regional executive director, said his office, working with local government units (LGUs) in the region, has set up checkpoints in strategic areas to prevent the entry of live hogs and meat products suspected to be ASF-tainted.
All the LGUs in the region have passed resolutions outlining the guidelines on how to prevent ASF from gaining a foothold.
De los Reyes said that based on the blood tests on pigs collected by DA veterinarians from all six provinces in the region, Eastern Visayas is still free from ASF, a highly contagious swine disease that has threatened the country’s swine industry.
Live swine and processed meat entering Eastern Visayas should have pertinent documents from concerned authorities, or they will be confiscated.
An outbreak of ASF in Eastern Visayas could devastate its swine industry, de los Reyes sad.
The records of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Regional Statistical Services Office that Leyte has the highest swine population in the region, accounting for 50.3 percent.
About 95.3 percent of the swine population in Eastern Visayas is raised in backyard farms and only 4.7 percent is reared in commercial farms.