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Tuesday, 04 February 2020 08:40

Sarangani under lockdown amid ASF alert

ALABEL, Sarangani (February 4, 2020) – Governor Steve Chongbian Solon on Monday (February 3) ordered the temporary lockdown on the entry of live hogs and all meat products into Sarangani amid the African Swine Fever (ASF) that currently plagued Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental.

Dr. Bernard Cababat, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Veterinary Office, said the outbreak has placed particularly the towns of Malungon, Alabel, Malapatan and Glan in Sarangani at “high risk” since Davao Occidental is geographically in their border.

Now, surveillance checkpoints are placed in Barangay Malungon Gamay in Malungon, an entry connecting from Davao del Sur; in Batulaki, Glan which is an adjacent barangay with Davao Occidental and Barangays Maribulan in Alabel and Tinoto in Maasim, which are entry points from General Santos City to Alabel, Malapatan and Glan and, to MAKIMA towns, respectively.

MAKIMA is comprised of Maasim, Kiamba and Maitum in the western coast of the province.

As part of the task force, the maritime Police also vowed to do coastal monitoring particularly at the possible entry and exit points.

“Sarangani as of now, is free from ASF,” Solon said. However, he pointed out the need to block certain points of access to the province to avert the entry of the disease that could also affect the swine industry here.

Sarangani, like Don Marcelino, has many backyard hog raisers.

Solon is set to sign the executive order supporting the temporary lockdown in Sarangani on Tuesday (February 4).

In the executive order, Solon declared to be “unlawful for anyone to bring into Sarangani Province any and all kinds of pork and pork-related food products in whatever form or quantity, including those which are purely for consumption purposes only” until the country is declared ASF-free.

The order declared a temporary total ban for pork coming from areas affected or declared infected with ASF.

It required Meat Inspection Certificate from the National Meat Inspection and Veterinary Shipping Permit for locally produced pork.

While a License to Operate issued by the Food and Drug Administration is required for processed pork and pork products and an additional shipping permit from the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Animal Industry for uncooked, processed pork such as tocino, tapa, longganisa, burger patties and other related products.

For imported pork and pork products sourced from ASF-free countries, it required Certificate of Meat Inspection.

However, “all pork and pork-related products, unless accompanied by the proper documentation from NMIS and/or FDA, which are not voluntarily disposed of upon disembarkation, shall be confiscated at sight by deputized agents of Sarangani Province.”

The province already has an existing Provincial Avian Influenza Task Force under Provincial Ordinance No. 2008-6-037 or “An Ordinance Enacting the Avian Influenza Emergency Preparedness and Response Measure in the Province of Sarangani.”

According to Solon, the functions of the task force may be expanded to cover the governmental concerns about ASF, Food-and-Mouth Disease, and other contagious animal disease.

General Santos City was also placed on lockdown a day earlier than Sarangani.

According to Cababat, Gensan will support Sarangani since the latter is the first line of defense to Gensan. The surveillance checkpoint in Malungon would as well filter the coming in of hogs and pork products to the city.

Cababat said they will conduct surveillance in the boundaries of Malungon starting Tuesday (February 4) and results can be expected four days after.

“With proper authorities, we could address” in case there will be ASF cases identified in the province, Cababat said.

“The Department of Agriculture Region XII Regulatory Division is ready to help us,” and provided Sarangani with surveillance kits, Cababat said.

“Well coordinated ang mga movements nato with the Department of Agriculture, naa ang region, the Provincial Veterinary Office, municipal level ug ang stakeholders like some private groups. We also partnered with BMEG kay willing pod sila mu-support sa atoa,” Cababat said.

Cababat then urged the public to be “vigilant. Help us to control or contain the disease and to report any abnormality nga ikamatay sa mga baboy because we will act on that.” He likewise appealed to traders to utilize “local meat, our local hogs for our consumption.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)

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