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ASF task force in Biliran issues stern warning vs violators

NAVAL, Biliran (PIA) — Dr. Suzette V. Apura, the provincial veterinarian and co-chairperson of the provincial African Swine Fever (ASF) task force, has issued a warning to those who violate or plan to violate ASF regulations.

This came after the provincial ASF task force found out, in a random visit conducted on March 21, to some business establishments in this town, that some pork products and by-products, such as chicharron (fried pork rinds), a pork product labeled as chicken fillet but made of pork, and chorizo, among others, were being sold to the public.

During a previous ASF task force meeting, Apura highlighted the importance of enhancing monitoring at the entry points of pork products and by-products, including live hogs. All vehicles transporting these goods will undergo inspection at the animal quarantine checkpoint at the Biliran Bridge. This is to guarantee that both meat vans and other vehicles are uncontaminated and comply with the necessary standards.

She also encouraged the local officials from the eight towns to the 132 barangays in the province, especially those in the coastal barangays, to be on guard in their respective areas to prevent any area in the province from being affected by ASF.

She stated that the authorities would impose appropriate penalties in accordance with the province's ASF Prevention Ordinance.

Gov. Gerard Roger M. Espina issued Executive Order No. 004 on March 6, 2023, which enforced a total ban on the entry of live hogs, pork-related products, and by-products from Luzon and Mindanao, including the nearby provinces of Ilo-Ilo, Cebu, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Leyte, and Southern Leyte. This is due to the imminent danger that ASF may still spread and reach the province.

Jerome Arcenal, a member of the ASF Task Force and the president of the hog raisers association in the province, is in conversation with a business establishment owner. They are discussing the monitoring that is being conducted to ensure the strict enforcement of an executive order on ASF. (Photo: PIA Biliran)

The provincial government of Biliran has allocated P500,000 annually from the general fund to enforce and implement the ASF ordinance.

According to the ASF disease status as of Feb. 23, 2024, released by the Bureau of Animal Industry, the eight towns in Biliran province are still ASF-free zones. (RSV, PIA Biliran)

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Rodrigo Victoria


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