CEBU, Philippines – Cebu province in Central Visayas, and neighboring Negros Occidental and Bacolod City in Western Visayas have all banned the entry of pork products after blood samples from Carcar City showed positive results for African Swine Fever (ASF).
Cebu imposed a ban on shipments of pork and pork products from Negros Occidental on Sunday, March 6 until April 5, based on Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia’s Executive Order No. 9 series of 2023.
Negros Occidental Governor Bong Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez signed their joint executive order on Tuesday, March 7.
Cebu has one of the largest hog industries in the Visayas region, totaling P11 billion in economic value.
Negros Occidental’s pork industry is worth P10 billion, Governor Lacson said in 2022.
“There is a confirmed test result from the Bureau of Animal Industry – Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory confirming the detection of African Swine Fever viral DNA and blood sample obtained as a result of ASF surveillance activities in Carcar City,” Cebu Provincial Veterinarian Mary Rose Vincoy said in a press briefing on March 5.
She said ASF-positive results came out on March 1 from samples at a Carcar slaughterhouse, taken during the local veterinary office’s ASF surveillance activity.
An investigation showed that the blood samples were from pigs kept in stockyards together with others originating from the island of Negros, she added.
“The samples were submitted to the regional diagnostics laboratory for additional verification,” Vincoy said.
Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia signed Executive Order No. 9 series of 2023 on the same day that the samples were confirmed for ASF.
Garcia’s EO temporarily bans the entry of live hogs, sows, piglets, boar semen, pork, and pork-related products from Negros Island into the province. This EO started on March 6 and will last until April 5.
Vincoy assured the province’s residents that even with the ban, there are other sources of pork, particularly from backyard farmers in the province.
She also said the governor is contemplating a possible ban on the export of swine from within Cebu to prevent any shortage in supply.
“As long as there is an accreditation from the Bureau of Animal Industry, they will be allowed but for those unaccredited farms, particularly the backyard farms, they cannot [export] out of the farms of Cebu,” Vincoy said.
Lacson and Benitez’s Joint Executive Order No. 1, series of 2023 imposes a total ban on the entry of live pigs, boar semen, pork products, and other pork related food items from the following areas:
- Region 8 (Eastern Visayas)
- Panay Island
- Province of Cebu
- Camotes Island
- Bantayan Island; and
- Other countries affected by the ASF as declared by the Department of Agriculture.
It gave veterinary inspectors across the province to intercept and confiscate all banned products.
Shipments with incomplete, spurious or falsified shipping and other documents will also be held by authorities at ports of entry.
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