The African Swine Fever Task Force in Negros Occidental is eyeing a 100-day ban of pork imports in the province after the presence of the disease was noted in some provinces in Luzon.
The proposal, that was passed unanimously through a resolution during the emergency meeting of the task force yesterday, will still need the approval of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena, who presided over the meeting, said.
The members agreed that the temporary ban of live pigs and processed pork from Luzon will ensure that the province will remain ASF-free.
Decena reiterated the need to protect the P6 billion swine industry of Negros Occidental, which is also the country’s top producer of backyard swine.
“If we ban the import of pork and processed meat from Luzon, we can still get processed meat products from other provinces. We also have a commercial processing plant in Cebu, we can patronize that. We also encourage the public to buy local pork products,” he said.
With the impending ban, Decena assures the Negrenses that the province has enough supply. “Based on the inventory of our hog associations, we have enough pigs,” he said.
He said the pork consumed in the province is 100 percent produced in Negros Occidental. “We regularly monitor and give technical assistance to our backyard raisers. We also monitor and supervise our commercial producers,” he added.
He added that 80 percent of the backyard swine consumed locally and put oin the auction market are being bought by other local government units such as Cebu and Manila.
Wilma Dignos, project manager of Caridad Hog Raisers Association from Cadiz City, said there is an oversupply of pork in the province which is why the prices continued to decrease since June.
“We have more than enough supply, the problem is no one is buying. This is why prices are decreasing,” she said.
The prices of live weight in the south is P82.90 per kilo, while P90 to P100 per kilo in the north. Before, it used to be P120 per kilo, she said.
Meanwhile, the task force continues to enhance its measures such as strengthening its animal disease surveillance and capability to report, especially from the local government units.
They have also intensified their inspection protocols in ports, especially shipment coming in from Luzon.
Moreover, the task force also passed a resolution intensifying its inspections on restaurants and hotels that are using imported pork.
Copies of the resolutions will also be distributed to the mayors especially in Bacolod City to intensify its measures against the entry of ASF in the province.*
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