BORDER CONTROL. The border control in Tibiao town, Antique province was established to check on swine and pork products from affected areas in the Luzon area, as prevention against the spread of African swine fever (ASF) last March 2022. Sibalom Livestock and Poultry-Raisers Association president Elma Peña urged the Provincial Veterinary Office on Friday (Oct. 14, 2022) to strengthen border control due to the reported suspected ASF in neighboring Iloilo province. (Photo courtesy of Antique ProVet)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – Alarmed with the first reported suspected African swine fever (ASF) case in Western Visayas, hog raisers here in Antique are urging the provincial government to intensify its border control with neighboring provinces to prevent the spread of the virus.

“We are apprehensive that the ASF would enter our province for it could destroy our hog industry,” said Elma Peña, president of the Sibalom Livestock and Poultry-Raisers Association (SILPRA) in an interview Friday.

Anique is bordered by the provinces of Aklan and Iloilo. On Thursday, Iloilo reported suspected ASF cases but is still waiting for the confirmatory result from the Bureau of Animal Industry Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Manila.

Peña added that without the confirmation, hog raisers in Antique would like the provincial government to immediately come up with preventive measures.

Provincial Ordinance 2020-242 on Dec. 22, 2020 banning pork and other pork-related products from Luzon and other areas affected by the ASF is still in effect until now, said Dr. Marco Rafael Ardamil, Antique ProVet Public Health Division chief, in a separate interview.

“Once the suspected ASF case in Iloilo province would be confirmed, the Provincial Ordinance 2020-242 will already include the ban on swine and pork products from our neighboring province,” Ardamil said.

He added that there was even a proposal that the implementation of the border control should be 24/7.

At present, Ardamil said there are ProVet personnel on duty at the border control in Barangay Guinsang-an, Hamtic town and in Barangay San Francisco of Anini-y town from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PNA)