CEBU CITY, Philippines – The cities of Cebu and Mandaue have both cracked down on the spread of African swine fever, issuing respective orders controlling the entry of live hogs and pork products into their areas.
Less than a week ago, the Cebu provincial government ordered a similar blockade. Both cities of Cebu and Mandaue have bustling seaports, which requires vigilance in enforcing their prohibitions.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes issued Executive Order 27 on Tuesday, September 17, banning both pork products and live hogs from Luzon and from countries afflicted with ASF.
“There is also an imposed ban on the transportation and entry of live pigs and their products including pork meat and semen from any part of Luzon into Mandaue City,” the order read. “Hogs and pork from the VIsayas and Mindanao are allowed entry into Mandaue City only if they have complied with the pertinent documents as required by the quarantine office.”
The EO said imports without the proper documents will be turned back.
As an added precaution, Mandaue City also banned restaurants and hotels from selling or donating leftover food as “swill” or hog feed.
Cebu bans pork, allows live hogs
Cebu City ordered the ban of pork and pork products from Luzon, although live hogs may be imported with proper documentation through its Executive Order 15, signed by Mayor Edgar Labella over the weekend.
Like Mandaue City, restaurants and hotels are also banned from selling or leftovers as feed for hogs.
While ASF cannot be transmitted to humans, the province is worried the entry of the virus could wipe out hog populations and negatively impact the economy of Cebu City. The virus is highly contagious and once a swine population is afflicted, the mortality rate is almost certainly 100%. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)
The Cebu City port is the country’s largest domestic port in the country and also has an international sea port.
The provincial government of Cebu already banned live hog imports from all provinces in Luzon on September 11. Pork processed products from Rizal and Bulacan specifically, where there were confirmed cases of ASF, were banned.
Pork from other provinces are allowed provided they have proper clearance.
Cebu City and Mandaue City are independent of the province, hence the need to issue their own executive orders.
Local governments are beginning to implement stricter regulation of live hogs and pork after it was confirmed that the virus was present in the Philippines, particularly in Luzon. (READ: African swine fever now in Philippines)