GenSan steps up border control against ASF, other diseases

The city government has stepped up efforts to protect the area’s border for the possible entry of critical animal diseases, especially the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Dr. Antonio Marin, head of the City Veterinary Office, said Tuesday they are closely coordinating with the Bureau of Animal Industry-Veterinary Quarantine Service (BAI-VQS) to strengthen the border control operations in the city.

He said the local government has provided funds to the agency for the purchase of disinfectants that are used for the footbaths at the city international airport and the Makar wharf.

They also provide manpower to help monitor the movement of cargo and wastes that could potentially carry animal diseases at the city seaport, he said.

“We work in partnership with them (BAI-VQS) in beefing up border control to protect our livestock industry,” he told reporters.

Marin said they are not taking any chances with the ASF since it is considered as a major threat to the animal industry, being considered as a trans-boundary disease, “that’s why we have to be careful.”

He said the probable carriers are mainly humans, through the uncooked processed meat products that they might bring in to the area.

The official said these could enter through the airports, with Overseas Filipino Workers and other travelers from countries with cases of ASF as carriers.

The Department of Agriculture has banned the importation of pork and other related products from at least 18 countries that have confirmed cases of the ASF.

It also imposed stricter import measures on plant-based feeds from countries that were hit by the disease.

At the community level, Marin said they are also monitoring backyard swine farms for the possible emergence of animal diseases.

He said they provide vaccines and iron shots as well as offer services for castration and deworming of animals.

“We also provide the necessary equipment and do house calls for our farmers,” he added. (PNA)