The Negros Occidental provincial government has intensified its monitoring of the possible entry of pork and its by-products from other parts of the country as the threat of African swine fever (ASF) persists.
As of Monday, airport and seaports in the province remained under the tight watch of Provincial Task Force Against ASF personnel
Dr. Renante Decena, provincial veterinarian and task force co-chair, said stricter border monitoring is being enforced as some online sellers have attempted to ship pork-based products to the province.
The task force recently found out that a consignee in Bacolod ordered pork siomai with wagyu beef from Binondo, Manila through courier service, prompting them to send a letter of warning to both the delivery firm and the buyer, he added.
In a report, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said new strategies used by sellers resulted in new outbreaks of the dreaded swine disease.
These outbreaks were recorded after quarantine rules were relaxed as sellers no longer transport the whole pigs, but process the meat into different frozen goods and sell it online, the BAI added.
“Don’t patronize products from Manila, especially those from Binondo,” Decena urged Negrenses.
He said erring sellers face corresponding penalties and sanctions, and based on national law, penalties include revocation of license for traders.
Under the provincial ordinance, penalties are upon the discretion of the court based on the case filed by the legal team, Decena said.
Last February, Negros Occidental banned the entry of live pigs, pork, and pork-based products from all over Mindanao to protect its multi-billion swine industry from the ASF.
In December last year, the province already imposed a permanent ban on the entry of pork from Luzon and other affected areas to the province through an ordinance.
Negros Occidental is the leading backyard hog raiser in the country, with a current total population of some 550,000 live pigs.
Source: Philippines News Agency