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Rama to sign new EO following detection of ASF virus in Cebu City

By: Wenilyn Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 21,2023 - 01:33 PM

Cebu ban poultry

CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Additional measures would be introduced soon as to how else the Cebu City government and its residents could avoid the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

Mayor Michael Rama said these will be contained in an Executive Order (EO) that he would sign in the coming days.

Also, Rama said that the city government would be setting up an “ASF Incident Command” to collect data and provide regular updates on the status of the ASF infection here.

However, Rama begged off from commenting when asked if the city was also planning to implement the culling of pigs suspected of having the infectious disease.

On Monday, March 20, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed the presence of the ASF virus in other parts of Cebu, other than Carcar City, where it was first detected.

BAI has reported the detection of the ASF in Cebu City; Liloan, and Tuburan towns and Bogo City in northern Cebu; and Sibonga town in the south.

The Cebu City Veterinary Office, earlier, asked city residents to immediately report the death of pigs in their respective areas and to refrain from bringing pork and other pork products coming from other localities into the city.

At the same time, they asked the public to follow the biosecurity measures that were already set in place to prevent ASF from affecting the city’s hog industry, that include the prohibition on feeding pigs with leftovers.

Rama said a phone interview that additional safety measures would be introduced in an EO that he would release later this week.

The city’s convergence group that oversees the implementation of measures against the spread of the ASF is now working to identify the safety measures that would be contained in his EO.

His convergence group consists of his executive officers and some personnel from the Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) headed by Dr. Jessica Maribojoc.

While the Cebu City government responds to the threat of the ASF, BAI said it would continue to coordinate with the DA Central Visayas office and the concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) to gather additional data “as part of a traceback investigation to determine the extent of the outbreak in the province.”

BAI defines the ASF as a deadly and highly contagious disease. It said that prevention and control of the virus remains very challenging because of the absence of a vaccine that could help in its prevention.

BAI said the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommended the implementation of depopulation or culling of affected and exposed swine that are within a 1-kilometer radius.

However, taking into consideration the Philippine situation and its devastating effects on the livelihood of backyard farmers and the local hog industry, the government has reduced the depopulation area to 500 meters.


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TAGS: ASF, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Detection, disease, Executive Order, Mayor Michael Rama

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