PIG IN A FARM. The Philippines is no longer Asian swine fever-free but there are still parts of the country not affected by the disease such as Negros Occidental. Image from Shutterstock.com
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Negros Occidental will permanently ban the entry of pigs and pork products from Luzon and other African swine fever (ASF)-affected areas to keep the province free from the dreaded virus.
This came after members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed the ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental pushed by Board Member Andrew Montelibano during the regular session on Tuesday, November 19, that was unanimously supported by the board.
The ordinance will cover all live pigs, boar semen, pork and pork products including but not limited to canned good and food items containing pork whether cooked or uncooked, originating from, manufactured, and processed in Luzon and in ASF-affected countries and in other areas declared by the Department of Agriculture and World Organization for Animal Health.
Also prohibited is the disposal of food wastes and leftovers as swill feed by restaurants, hotels, aircrafts, sea vessels, and other similar establishments in the territorial jurisdiction of Negros Occidental, the ordinance said.
Violators of the ordinance will pay fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 and face jail time of 6 months to one year, while a P500,000-budget will be allocated annually for the enforcement, operation, and implementation of the ordinance.
During the public hearing Tuesday morning, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said there was no opposition from the various sectors, especially those whose businesses were affected following the temporary ban of pork from Luzon and ASF-affected areas implemented on September 11.
Decena said business establishments will have to find other sources of pork to meet their demands, adding that the market for local pork has increased.
He said the ordinance will take effect 10 days after publication, just before the 90-day ban on pork imports ends on December 18.
Meanwhile, members of the Provincial Board also approved the resolution of Board Member Sixto Guanzon and Montelibano declaring Negros Occidental as an ASF-free province.
The resolution said it intended to safeguard and protect the swine industry from the widespread fear that may result to poor consumption of pork. – Rappler.com