By Roel Amazona

SWINE FEVER. A local government worker gets sample from a backyard hog farm in Calbiga, Samar in this June 4, 2024 photo. Local authorities said two samples turned positive for African swine fever. (Photo courtesy of Rommel Rutor)

TACLOBAN CITY – African swine fever (ASF) has been detected in Calbiga, Samar after recent testing of two samples from backyard hog raisers.

The local government issued an Executive Order (EO) providing actions that villages will have to undertake to address the ASF outbreak.

Mayor Red Nacario issued the EO on Thursday after one of the two blood samples taken by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) from two separate backyard piggeries in Calingonan village turned positive of ASF virus.

Calingonan village is declared under red zone by the local government due to.positive cases. The nearby villages of San Ignacio, Calayaan, Timbangan and Canticum are under yellow zone or areas considered for surveillance.

The villages of Polangi, Patong, Rawis, Borobaybay, Malabal and other villages of the town are placed under green zone or the buffer zone.

Under the EO, villages are mandated to establish a “barangay border control” supervised by their village officials and tanod with guidance and assistance from the local agriculture office.

The “Bantay ASF” will monitor and regulate entry of pigs, pork, and pork-based products to prevent the entry from villages with suspected and positive cases including the exit of sick animals.

The EO also mandates that all pigs in ASF-affected villages must be culled and disposed properly, and must be supervised by the Provincial Veterinarian Office, MAO, and assisted by the personnel of the Municipal Police Station, Bureau of Fire Protection, and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Areas within one-kilometer radius from the site with a positive case will be put under strict quarantine.

The EO also stipulates that in areas with suspected ASF infection, pig blood samples must be extracted to undergo laboratory examination and the pigs where the samples are taken must be quarantined until the result is released.

Healthy pigs outside the 500-meter radius may be slaughtered and sold at the public market provided that they have appropriate documents such as certification from the village chief.

Agricultural extension workers on livestock and village officials are ordered to conduct active surveillance from unusual pig mortalities and must immediately report it to the MAO for conduct of investigation and do blood sampling for laboratory test.

The EO also prohibits the entry of private feed technicians to any villages of the town while their locality is still affected by ASF.

Piggery owners affected by ASF are ordered to conduct daily disinfection activity for 30 days.

Members of the Municipal African Swine Fever Task Force are ordered to assist in the implementation of the order. (PNA)