Pork meat, products still safe in Cordillera

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– No report of African Swine Fever (ASF) infestation has been recorded in the Cordillera region so people here and the rest of the Filipinos can continue to eat pork and meat products.
“Pwede pa po tayong kumain ng baboy,” Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dar said in an interview during his visit at the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center here for the 6th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress last week.
Dar clarified that Rodriguez and Antipolo in Rizal, as well as Guiguinto in Bulacan were the areas where the first salvo of the swine fever was detected and quarantine in the areas as well as selected areas in Central Luzon and Quezon City was done so that the virus would be contained.
Dar explained that ASF only affects pigs but humans can carry the virus and spread it locally. A virus quickly spreads in an affected hog, which could lead to death after three to five days.
The secretary called on hog raisers to report incident of illness among pigs to be diagnosed and be tested. He stressed that when a pig is sick, it does not mean it is affected by swine fever.
“If pigs are sick, go to the veterinarians and let them diagnose the pigs. The DA and the municipal and provincial veterinarians are ready to come to do diagnosis,” he said.
Dar also called on local government units not to totally ban the entry of pork and pork meat to their localities. He said the decision to ban all pork products from Luzon due to the African swine fever infestation is an overreaction to the crisis and may disrupt interregional trade.
Pigs play a big part in the culture and tradition of the people of the Cordillera being used for rituals and community feasts or gathering. **JDP/RMC- PIA-CAR

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