Cebu City restricts hog, pork movement in 9 villages due to ASF

By John Rey Saavedra

July 29, 2023, 11:23 am

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

CEBU CITY – The city government has regulated the movement of live hogs and pork meat in nine barangays here that have been placed under massive month-long disinfection after the detection of African swine fever (ASF), the city veterinarian said Saturday.

However, five of the nine villages are already categorized as ”under control” against the deadly hog disease, said Dr. Jessica Maribojoc, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries in Cebu City.

She did not disclose the names of the barangays to prevent hog raisers from being victimized by unscrupulous suppliers who buy pigs around the contaminated area at very low prices.

Maribojoc said they require animal delivery vehicles to obtain barangay livestock certification before they could move out pigs from the affected villages.

They also need to secure a “green slip” from the city agriculture office confirming that the animals have tested negative for ASF, based on antigen and laboratory tests conducted by the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture 7 (Central Visayas).

Meanwhile, Councilor Pastor Alcover Jr. said the city has put in place a standard operating procedure to limit the movement of both live hogs and pork around the affected villages, in coordination with the barangay tanods (peace officers), the Cebu City Anti-ASF Task Force and the Philippine National Police.

“We gathered the residents in the mountain barangays to educate them of the effect of ASF and the measures established to prevent further spread of the virus," Alcover said in an interview.

The city government, he said, has also prepared measures to replenish the dwindling supplies of pork due to the presence of the disease in the nine barangays.

He said the city would embark on an alternative livestock dispersal program and distribute goats, chickens, and rabbits to encourage farmers to grow animals other than pigs for food.

"The city needs to adopt an alternative livestock program for the farmers while ASF is still active," Alcover said. (PNA)