Anti-ASF operation reaches Curuan, Sangali

The city’s Task Force (TF) Karne yesterday brought its monitoring and surveillance operations to the east coast, particularly in barangays Curuan and Sangali.

The activity is part of the enforcement of the temporary national ban on the importation, distribution and sale of processed pork products from countries suspected to be infected with the African swine fever (ASF) virus, a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs.

Of the establishments visited, only one was found to sell canned pork products from China. A total of thirty-three (33) cans of a famous pork luncheon meat from the said country were pulled out from the shelf, inventoried and sealed.

Personnel from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) will retrieve the items as it is the only agency authorized to confiscate such products.

Also in the list of ASF-affected countries are Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova, Belgium, Hongkong, North Korea, and Laos.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, the ASF virus is transmitted by direct contact, ingestion of garbage/swill feeds containing unprocessed infected pig meat or pig meat products, ticks and biting flies, and contaminated premises, vehicles, equipment and clothing.

While not a human health threat, the ASF is capable of annihilating the entire swine industry. As of yet, no vaccine or treatment exists to combat the virus. Thus, stringent importation policies, early detection and strict biosecurity measures are being carried out to ensure the Philippines remain ASF-free. (Claudine Uniana)