Sunday Apr, 05 2020 04:58:44 AM

Efforts to stop ASF spread seen to succeed in Davao Occidental

AGRICULTURE • 06:30 AM Mon Feb 3, 2020
379
By: 
Manny Piñol
Photos show quarantine Stations along the highway leading out of Don Marcelino town and the consultation with DA Region XI Director Bong Onate (Photos by Argie Leparto, MinDA OC)

DAVAO CITY - The government's effort to contain the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) which was reported in the remote coastal town of Don Marcelino, Davao Occidental is expected to succeed as a total lockdown was declared by the provincial government and the Department of Agriculture yesterday.

After an initial confusion, national government agencies, local governments and the private sector jointly jumped into action and implemented a total ban on the transport of hogs and pork from the whole province.

The slaughter of hogs and sale of pork in the markets of Davao Occidental has been banned by the provincial government.

The private sector joined the efforts with the Mindanao Hog Raisers Association and PILMICO Feeds Corp., an Aboitiz Company, sending disinfectants, backpack sprayers and power sprayers.

Neighboring provinces have likewise established Quarantine Facilities which required all travellers to step on a footbath while vehicles were sprayed with disinfectant.

Davao Occidental Gov. Claude Bautista has dispatched backhoes to Don Marcelino to prepare disposal facilities for the infected hogs while baarangay tanods were deputised to penetrate remote villages and ask people to turn in their hogs for culling.

Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar flew in from Manila yesterday and proceeded to the capital town of Malita to personally assess the situation.

Agriculture Undersecretary for Operations Ariel Cayanan arrived in Don Marcelino yesterday afternoon to consult with hog farmers and local officials.

The Don Marcelino ASF outbreak is a puzzling incident to government agencies monitoring the disease in Mindanao.

Reports received during the briefing in Don Marcelino yesterday said the first incident happened in a remote mountain village late last year.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of the DA is now investigating how and why the virus which thrives in pork products, even those already processed, reached the remote village.

The isolation of the town located along the southern coast of the Davao Gulf with only one entry and exit road is a factor that will greatly help the containment of the disease.

The only other way out of Don Marcelino is through the sea but the Coast Guard has been alerted on the implementation of the total ban on the transport of hogs and pork products from the town.

Today, a joint Regional Development Council (RDC) and Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting will be held in Tagum City to discuss other measures to assist farmers whose livelihood activities were affected by the outbreak.

The Don Marcelino ASF outbreak is the first to be reported in Mindanao.

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