DESPITE the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak in the country, the government is committed to protect the P260-billion swine industry and ensure the health and safety of pork-consuming public.
Playing a stellar role in the fight against the ASF, which is led by the De‘partment of Agriculture (DA), are the country’s local government units (LGUs), the police, the military and the private sector.
Outright, Agriculture Secretary William Dollente Dar established the “DA Crisis Management Task Force on Swine” as part of government efforts to manage, control and contain the disease.
Dar ordered the strict implementation of the “1-7-10” protocol on ASF-affected barangays, and the 24/7 animal quarantine checkpoints to prevent the spread of the disease to adjoining areas.
Likewise, Dar warned the country’s backyard hog raisers not to sell their ASF-infected pigs to stop the spread of the disease, adding that “what’s on the line is the future of the swine industry.”
A native of Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur, Dr. Dar also said traders who buy pigs infected with the dreaded disease, which has no known vaccine yet, face criminal sanctions.
At the same time, Dar, the first Filipino and Asian to serve as director of the India-based International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, assured the people that the disease is not transferrable to humans and other animals.
Despite the mounting challenges, local government officials are deftly managing, controlling and containing ASF in their respective localities, in strong partnership with commercial hog raisers, the police and the military.
Indeed, the quick and firm response of the government, national and local, and other hog industry stakeholders to the ASF outbreak is, without doubt, very commendable.
And we are fortunate to have so many public and private offices and agencies, led by the agriculture department, working in unison to prevent the disease from further spreading.