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In order to protect the livestock industry of the island from the risk posed by African swine fever (ASF), the town of Cuyo has beefed up its security measures in order to prevent the importation of pork meat and products during the holiday season.

Bernabe Sabuya, municipal agriculturist, stated that Cuyo enhanced its security to prevent the illegal entry of products, particularly in ASF-affected regions of Visayas such as Iloilo to Antique.

If ASF enters their island town, he said it might put their livestock at risk.

“From Guimaras kasi bantay-sarado sa pier– kapag napasok ito ng ASF, 500-meter radius lahat yan cull ang baboy– May quarantine officer kami sa pier, nagbabantay. May mga shipper pa rin talaga na tigas-ulo, nagpapalusot ng baboy. Kapag yan nakapasok, patay ang industry ng livestock dito,” he said.

Products from mainland Palawan may enter the island so long as the municipal agriculturist has issued a safety certificate.

The island’s local raisers are responsible for keeping its supply of pork meat at a sufficient level.

“Kapag naapektuhan ng ASF ang Cuyo, patay talaga ang mga magsasaka dito. Kaya ngayon, banay-sarado kami sa pier dahil holiday season, may magpapalusot niyan ng pork,” he said.

The province of Palawan remains ASF-free since the outbreak in 2019.

Cuyo is also taking precautions against avian influenza, which has the potential to affect the poultry industry. Bernabe stated that health certificates are required for Iloilo egg shipments, Puerto Princesa, and Manila.