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LGUs in Western Visayas are asked to be watchful against the entrance of processed meat.

The Western Visayas region’s local government units (LGUs) are being urged by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to be careful when introducing processed meat products that could potentially be ASF virus carriers.

While there are ASF cases in the region, according to DA-6 Regional Executive Director Engr. Jose Albert Barrogo, in an interview, it is still important to safeguard the provinces of Antique and Negros Occidental, which are currently clear of animal illness.

“Even though we have ASF, we still need to be on the lookout, especially for processed foods that enter our territory and are very difficult to regulate. To implement our biosecurity protocols to the highest standard, he stated that we fervently urge the support of LGUs.

Processed food shipments entering the area, according to Barrogo, should have documentation demonstrating their provenance from ASF-free regions.

While large corporations adhere to regulations, unlabeled, home-based manufactured foods must be closely monitored.

He stated they had heard allegations of a “tremendous increase in the volume of incoming processed meat products from nearby regions and provinces.”

ACCORDING TO THE ADVICE, the ASF virus can persist in processed and frozen meat for a very long time and can still infect animals of the swine species.

While waiting for the results, he confirmed that a tiny barangay in the municipality of Tangalan in the Aklan province had sent a sample to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) for ASF testing.

The municipality of Balete’s mountainous barangay is home to Aklan’s first instance of the ASF.

“What is good with Aklan and in Roxas, just like Iloilo, is that they kept improving in their management of the ASF,” he said.

He continued by saying that Iloilo has taught Aklan a lot about preventing the sickness from spreading widely.

In a meeting with representatives of the Negros Occidental provincial government, the regional executive director also discussed the alleged deaths of many hogs in the region.

According to him, the department has been requesting that the province send its specimen samples to the RADDL for verification for a long time.

“I sent a letter to the governor to send us specimens for a confirmatory test,” he continued.

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