Bohol Remains Free of African Swine Fever Despite Outbreak in Pilar

The province of Bohol has maintained its status as an African Swine Fever (ASF)-Free zone despite the recent outbreak of the disease in one of its towns.

The municipality of Pilar, where some pigs tested positive for ASF last month, has also managed to contain the virus and prevent it from spreading to other areas, according to Provincial Administrator Aster Caberte.

According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), ASF is a highly contagious and fatal disease that affects domestic and wild pigs.

It can cause severe economic losses to the swine industry and pose a threat to food security.

There is no vaccine or treatment for ASF, and the only way to control it is by implementing strict biosecurity measures and culling infected animals.

The first case of ASF in Bohol was detected on July 25, 2023, when some pigs in Purok 6, Barangay San Vicente, Pilar died and their blood samples tested positive for the virus.

The DA-Regional Office No. 7 confirmed the results and informed the Provincial Government of Bohol and the Municipal Government of Pilar about the situation.

Governor Aris Aumentado immediately issued Executive Order No. 41, declaring Purok 6 as an “ASF Infected Premises” and imposing a lockdown on the area.

He also identified the ASF Quarantine and Surveillance Areas, which included the neighboring barangays of Pilar and some coastal towns.

He ordered the culling of all pigs within the infected premises and the disinfection of all vehicles and equipment entering and exiting the quarantine zones.

Aumentado also banned the movement of live pigs, pork products, and swine by-products within and outside the province.

Mayor Wilson Pajo of Pilar also convened his Municipal ASF Task Force and coordinated with the Provincial ASF Task Force led by Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz.

They implemented the guidelines set by the DA-Administrative Circular No. 02 series of 2022, which stipulated that a farm, barangay, city, or town can only be considered as a Red (Infected) Zone if:
(1) it has been confirmed to have ASF,
(2) the virus has crossed or infected other barangays, and
(3) the virus has crossed or infected another barangay within fifteen (15) days.

Since no other case of ASF was reported in Pilar or in any other part of Bohol after fifteen (15) days from the initial outbreak, the City of Pilar and the Province of Bohol remained as Green (Free) Zones.

This means that they are free from any restriction or regulation related to ASF.

Governor Aumentado expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders who helped in containing the ASF outbreak in Pilar.

He also urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious deaths or symptoms of pigs to their local veterinarians or authorities.

He assured that his administration will continue to support the swine industry and protect the health and welfare of both animals and humans in Bohol.

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