Google map of Camiguin Island province.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Camiguin provincial government has directed local hog raisers to secure slaughter clearances from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), as additional cases of African swine fever (ASF) were confirmed in Mambajao town.

In a statement Thursday, Governor Xavier Jesus Romualdo said blood samples taken by the Department of Agriculture Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (DA-RADDL) from pigs of backyard hog raisers in barangays Soro-Soro, Balbagon, and Poblacion confirmed the presence of ASF.

Before slaughtering, the PVO is tasked to inspect the area where the hog is raised to check for ASF symptoms nearby.

“All persons in the province who are raising pigs are requested not to engage in swill feeding or the feeding of food scraps to pigs and adopt appropriate biosecurity measures,” the governor's order said.

The banning of pork meat and products outside the province began last week.

“When they go to the slaughterhouse, they will bring the certificate showing that PVO inspected them. When they reach the slaughterhouse, they will be inspected again, there will be an antemortem inspection in the slaughterhouse before the hog is slaughtered,” said Dr. Lordgin Gamo, the provincial veterinarian.

After the slaughtering, Gamo said a post-mortem inspection will be done on the hog.

Based on the PVO’s investigation, the spread of ASF in Camiguin could be attributed to a family who went to a fiesta in Misamis Oriental and allegedly brought with them food from the celebration.

Romualdo said ASF was reported in Barangay Pandan on July 2.

He said before the incident, 14 pigs had died in the same village as early as June 22, prompting authorities to investigate.

On June 28, 18 blood samples were taken from Pandan and sent to the RADDL, eight of which tested positive for ASF.

Carlene Collado, the DA-Northern Mindanao (DA-10) director, said coordination and ground activities to contain the disease have been done with the Regional ASF Task Force and the local governments of Camiguin and Mambajao.

“Biosecurity measures should be strengthened on the remaining green zone areas in the province. Rest assured that the Regional ASF Task Force, concerned local government units, and private stakeholders are doing their best to isolate, eliminate and compensate, manage, contain and control this viral disease,” Collado said.

To control the spread of the virus, Romualdo said depopulation will be done in the infected villages and all areas within 500 meters of the ASF-positive zone.

He said the provincial government also issued Executive Directive (ED) No. 2 ordering all municipal mayors of the province to prohibit the transportation and movement of pigs and locally produced pork and pork products outside each municipality, effective July 2, 2022.

ED No. 3 dated July 4, meanwhile, prohibits swine treatment, artificial insemination, boar services, and other related services and activities by animal feed producers, animal health or pharmaceutical companies, and hog raisers. (PNA)