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City Vet urges total ban on meat entry

Dumaguete City Veterinarian Lourdes Socorro is suggesting that the provincial government reconsider or amend the Executive Order issued by Governor Roel Degamo so that the province and the city will be further insulated from the African Swine Fever (ASF) by imposing total ban on any entry of live animals or meat from outside Negros Oriental in the next 100 days.

“Cebu and Bohol have decided to impose total ban on meat products despite the corresponding required documents and certificates from concerned agencies, hence, it is prudent for Negros Oriental to adopt the same policy,” Socorro said.

Earlier, Gov. Degamo has issued an executive order (EO) prohibiting the entry of live animals and meat products in all ports in the province.

But the EO provides that Animals and its meat products coming from other parts of the country are allowed to enter the province as long as these have the required documents from the concerned government agencies such as Veterinary Health Certificates, Meat Inspection Certificate, and shipping permits, among others, in original copies.

The order also prohibits travelers from bringing in meat-related food products, frozen boar semen, and pork products without corresponding shipping permits or which are not voluntarily disposed upon disembarkation will be confiscated.

Shipping companies and airlines are also ordered to strictly comply with the required documents and are urged not to unload any food waste in any ports in the province.

Moving cargoes carrying live hogs that fail to comply with the “foregoing documentary quarantine requirements shall be stopped and refused disembarkation at the port of entry and shall be shipped back immediately to its port of origin,” according to the EO.

Degamo, in the EO, stated that there is a need to protect the swine industry in the province considering that it will affect more than 310,626 households in six cities and 19 towns valued at more than P6 billion. Dumaguete City alone consumes up to 150 hogs and 30 cattle daily.

Socorro said that ASF is not only a health concern but also economic as most hog raisers are losing their income due to imposition of the ban, which is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of the hog disease that originated in Luzon.

The Food and Drug Administration has earlier issued an advisory warning the public on the purchase and consumption of processed pork meat products from countries identified to be affected by ASF. (With PIA)