DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday issued an executive order temporarily banning live pigs and pork products from all areas of Luzon and from countries affected by the African swine fever.
As this developed, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol called on all local governments in the island to issue a similar executive order. He also caled for a ban swill feeding in their respective areas.
Earlier, Piñol met with stakeholders of the Mindanao hog industry to discuss ways on to prevent the entry of ASF to Mindanao.
“I call on all mayors and governors to issue an executive order to prevent entry of the African swine fever in Mindanao,” Piñol said. The Minda Chief added that “the move to ban entry of live hogs and pork products should not be seen as a trade issue that impedes free flow of food because it is a serious quarantine concern to protect the multi-billion worth hog industry where thousands of households depend for income and livelihood”.
In her order, Duterte said even pork-related products and by-products – fresh or frozen – would not be allowed into the city.
The City Veterinarian Office had said it would make sure that no ASF-contaminated hog or pork products can enter the city, including frozen boar semen.
Quarantine checkpoints had been set in the 3 entries to the city, in coordination with the military-led Task Force Davao.
“There is a possibility that the African Swine Fever may reach the city in such proportions that would affect the food safety and food security of the city,” Duterte said.
She also urged swine industry stakeholders to be vigilant in their areas of responsibilities.
“All are hereby alerted and directed to prepare protective measures to prevent the spread of the swine disease into our city,” she added. Duterte said meat vendors, suppliers and meat processors are also strictly discouraged from selling meat and processed meat that are clandestinely or illegally slaughtered, undocumented or sourced from illegal markets.
Davao Hog Raisers Association president Eduardo So said they were also asking officials to strictly enforce a ban on swill feeding as contaminated food can also trigger an ASF outbreak in the city.
Swill feeding is the practice of feeding hogs food wastes from hotels, restaurants, airlines and docked ships, which may contain infected meat. The prohibition on swill feeding can be exercised by the powers of the local executives.
“The governors and mayors are in better position to stop swill feeding, the local governments can issue ban of hogs import and prohibition of swill feeding altogether through an executive order, with stiffer penalties for deterrence,” Piñol said. – Rappler.com