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10 Iloilo towns declared ASF red zones 

PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO

TEN towns in Iloilo province are now marked as red zones for African Swine Fever (ASF), with the addition of Banate on Jan. 4.  

Iloilo Gov. Arthur R. Defensor, Jr., in an executive order released on Thursday, directed the inclusion of the municipality of Banate in ongoing containment measures against the viral disease that kills hogs.   

Transporting live pigs, fresh pork, frozen and processed pork products except cooked and canned pork products, and swine genetic materials in and out of Banate is now prohibited.   

The nine other towns that were earlier declared as ASF red zones were: Oton, San Miguel, Leganes, New Lucena, Alimodian, Santa Barbara, Mina, Barotac Nuevo, and Dumangas. 

The first ASF case in the province, also the first within the Western Visayas region, was detected in Oton in October.   

Aside from restrictions on the movement of pig and pork products from and to the infected towns, other containment measures include immediate “test and destroy” operations to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious hog disease.   

Quarantine checkpoints are also in place to protect areas outside the quarantine zones.   

The Philippines detected its first ASF case in 2019 in the northern mainland Luzon, and outbreaks have since been reported in most parts of the country, affecting mainly smallholder hog farmers.   

An estimated three million hogs have been lost to the disease or as part of precautionary culling operations from 2019 to 2021, according to government data.  

As of Dec. 22, there were 27 towns in four regions that had active ASF cases, based on data from the Bureau of Animal Industry. The affected regions are Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, and Eastern Visayas. — MSJ 

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