By Rey Anthony Chiu/PIA-Bohol | 04:57 PM August 07, 2021
Just like the smuggling of shabu, Bohol could be in a great risk of the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) because of commercial couriers.
A facebookpost by an unnamed boholano unwittingly exposed the alarm to local authorities and the local ASF task force about the possible breach this week.
In the facebook post, authorities presume that a boholano attended a fiesta celebration in a neighbouring province.
A fiesta goer who arrived in Bohol was cleared of the illegal meat: raw or processed, and by protocol has to undergo quarantine after coming back.
The relatives, possibly for ease of travel, sent the”bringhouse”, a revered boholano fiesta tradition, through a popular courrier.
When the fiesta goer was on quarantine, family members innocently posted on Facebook the following: Ang namista, gi-quarantine pa. Ang bring house niabot na.
Bohol has passed an ordinance in 2019, banning the entry of pork in whatever form: raw or processed, pork related processed products and even feeds sourced out from areas where ASF outbreak is noted.
ASF is a virus caused hog disease that started in Africa and spread throughout the world decimating hog populations, causing authorities to put up strict biosecurity measures.
In the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture declared ASF outbreaks in most areas in Luzon, specially around Metro Manila extending to Southern Luzon, several provinces in Mindanao, and is reported in Leyte.
The facebook post, which came from an account living in Eastern Bohol, lead authorities to believe that the smuggled meat which arrived by courier would come from Leyte.
Just like shabu, authorities later found out that while strictly implementing guard protocols at the airport and ports of entry, shabu came to Bohol allegedy by courier.
In the case of ASF, the virus can be spread through human contact, can be carried by vehicles from ASF contaminated areas, and the virus can survive even when cooked or processed.
Since last year, Bohol ASF task force members have made sure that vehicles crossing to Bohol from neighbouring provinces are disinfected fully and washed thoroughly to rid of the chances of accidentally bringing the virus and contaminating Bohol.
Bohol keeps a multi-billion hog industry, about 90% of these would come from backyard hog growers who would be severely impacted of the disease gets to their farms.
Along this, Provincial veterinarian, Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz called a meeting with local couriers to discuss measures on how they can help Bohol be ASF-free and be safe from the penalties put up by the ordinace.
While harmless to humans, ASF is severely fatal to pigs. (RAHC/ PIA-7/BOHOL)