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Border controls to keep NegOcc ASF-free

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The African Swine Fever-free Negros Occidental further tightened its border controls as the number of regions, provinces, local government units in the country affected by the animal disease increases, Provincial Veterinary Office officer-in-charge Placeda Lemana yesterday said.

Lemana reported that Western Visayas, Central Visayas and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao are not included among the 14 of the 17 regions now hit with ASF which includes 53 provinces, 704 cities and 3,832 municipalities.

She said that Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson ordered the maintenance of the ASF-free status of Negros Occidental by further tightening border controls against the entry of swine and related products from affected areas of the country.

With this development, Lemana said there is a growing demand of pork from Negros Occidental, which is being exported to other regions and provinces of the country, subject to strict compliance of documents required by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

“We are free to distribute in any parts of the country,” Lemana said.

At the same time, she also assured Negrenses that there is a sufficient supply of chickens in the province, amid price increases in the market, which she attributed to high production costs.

Based on records of the Meat Association Inspection Service, Negros Occidental produces 1.6 million heads of chicken from accredited dressing plants, excluding backyard and non-accredited plants, which is equivalent to 70,000 to 75,000 per day.

Negros Occidental, including highly urbanized Bacolod City, consumes 60,000 to 70,000 per day, giving a surplus of about 5,000, Lemana said.

She, however, admitted a small deficit in the supply of beef and eggs in the province.*

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