February 27, 2024

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The provincial government temporarily banned the entry and buying of live hogs, pork, and pork-based products from Isabela to Kalinga due to cases of African swine fever (ASF).

Governor James Edduba issued an advisory to hog shippers, meat vendors, meat shops, and all concerned regarding the temporary ban, considering Isabela is an alleged red zone where its municipalities have confirmed the presence of ASF.

Edduba also ordered the immediate confiscation and destruction of afflicted hogs and contaminated meat products entering the province.

“All meat vendors and others concerned are directed to coordinate with the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPV) for the proper issuance of ASF clearance,” he said.

In a meeting at the Capitol last Oct. 2, the governor directed the OPV to establish border checkpoints and strengthen surveillance of swine products coming from ASF red zones.

To ensure detection of diseases plaguing the animal industry, agricultural extension workers in Kalinga were recently trained on disease surveillance and data collection as part of a broader effort to enhance disease prevention and monitoring.

In Balbalan, Mayor Almar Malannag urged swine traders from Abra passing through the border to present a transport pass or an ASF clearance, warning that they could be apprehended if they don’t observe ASF protocols.

He said despite warnings, swine traders continue to transport swine to the province, particularly to Tabuk City, without an ASF clearance issued from point of origin. The mayor said he has coordinated with Abra Provincial Veterinarian Jomar Sales who assured that no ASF clearance will be issued to traders whose pigs have not been examined by the OPV.

The issuance of hog transport pass (HTP) aims to register all hog traders, logistical support providers, and vehicles and vessels used to transport live pigs and pork products in the provinces with the end view of traceability and maintaining disease free areas thereby achieving safe, clean and orderly handling of commodities throughout the stages of marketing or distribution channels. The HTP is a requirement before issuance of veterinary health certificate.

All livestock transport carriers are required to comply with biosecurity measures such as cleaning and disinfection as maybe imposed by authorities. Any violation of the guideline shall be immediately rendered and the HTP revoked. – Peter A. Balocnit