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Davao business sector calls for measures to keep out swine disease

davao business sector calls for measures to keep out swine disease 816x445 - Davao business sector calls for measures to keep out swine disease

DAVAO CITY — The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on government to implement measures to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) to Mindanao.

In a press statement Monday, Arturo M. Milan, president of the business group, said there is a need to protect the hog industry of the island by securing the virus’s possible entry points.

“Given the potency of this ASF virus, we believe that strict control measures should be implemented in all ports and airports to prevent ASF-infected pork from entering Mindanao,” Mr. Milan said.

He said Mindanao has the ability to keep out diseases like this, after having prevented the entry of foot and mouth disease.

“We need to improve these measures since just one pig can infect the pork and swine industry, and may cause loss of jobs,” he said.

Last week, the city government, through acting mayor Sebastian Z. Duterte, issued an executive order forming a body that will come up with measures to prevent the entry of ASF.

In Executive Order 37 creating an African Swine Fever Task Force, Mayor Duterte said: “There is a need to create a body that will look into the formulation of appropriate policies and implementation of programs to protect the public and the swine industry from the threats of ASF in Davao City.”

Eduard C. So, president of the Davao Hog Farmers Association, added that only pigs can be affected by ASF, and not humans consuming infected meat.

“(ASF) has no effect on humans, only on swine,” Mr. So said in a forum. He added that Mindanao’s hog farms send about 40% of their output to areas outside Mindanao, particularly the Visayas.

Mr. So said that despite the lack of danger to humans, the industry has felt the pinch after news that the disease has infected pig farms in Luzon, although he said it is hard to quantify the impact. — Carmelito Q. Francisco

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