The province of South Cotabato is still African Swine Fever or ASF free, local veterinary experts confirmed after a case was reported in nearby General Santos City recently.
Dr. Flora Bigot, Provincial Veterinarian, said a pre-emptive culling was performed to 511 hogs within 500 meters of the infected area in Barangay Apopong, General Santos City while a strict surveillance activity was conducted within the seven kilometer radius of the suspected area, including barangays Glamang, Klinan and Silway 7 in Polomolok, South Cotabato.
“South Cotabato is in light green zone, meaning the province is considered as controlled area,” Bigot explained.
According to the ASF Taskforce red zone is defined as an area where there is an ASF outbreak.
Bigot said that hogs and pork meat from General Santos City could be transported to South Cotabato provided that necessary permits are presented.
“We could not deny entry of these products from because there was no ASF outbreak, but we are very cautious in checking necessary documents to assure that no infected animal or hot meat could enter South Cotabato ,” she stressed out.
Dr. Kelvin Lucena, Laboratory and Research In-Charge, said the team immediately collected blood samples to at least a thousand hogs to determine the impact of the virus.
“The samples turned negative to ASF,” Dr. Lucena announced.
Lucena said that with the help of the local officials checkpoints are established in all possible entry points in Polomolok, Tantangan, Norala, Sto. Nino, and Tboli to strengthen the monitoring system against ASF.
For years now, South Cotabato is considered as the hog hub in Mindanao where top slaughterhouses are located.