No new ASF case in ZC for 290 days; monitoring, assistance ongoing

Zamboanga City has recorded no new cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) for the past 290 days, the Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVET) reported Tuesday, July 11.

Likewise, 86 blood samples collected from sentinel pigs released in affected areas tested negative for the ASF virus.

City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Arriola said the city is waiting on the Department of Agriculture for the reclassification of the city’s ASF status.

“We are awaiting for the declaration of the Department of Agriculture when we will be reclassified to pink or yellow. When we say pink or yellow, we are ready to repopulate. Ahora we don’t encourage [farmers] to repopulate the farms,” Dr. Arriola explained.

In the meantime, the OCVET maintains its border control stations, with meat products from ASF-affected areas or red zones still not allowed entry to Zamboanga City.

Dr. Arriola said that border control stations are manned 24/7 to check on all incoming livestock and meat products to ensure that they have the proper shipping permit issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

The OCVET’s seven veterinary services field offices also conduct regular monitoring and bio-security measures in the barangays.

Dr. Arriola credited the strict border control measures and the cooperation of residents and hog-raisers in the city’s successful curbing of ASF cases.

In the meantime, hog-raisers continue to receive financial assistance and support from the city government.

To date, a total of P6.7 M financial assistance was released to affected farmers.

“We are still awaiting additional releases for the assistance to individuals in crisis situations (AICS),” Dr. Arriola said.  (Jasmine Mohammadsali)