BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has ordered the banning of entry of live pigs and pork products from Panay and Guimaras into Negros Occidental, following detection of a suspected African Swine Fever case in Oton, Iloilo.
In two memorandums dated October 13, Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said the incidence of ASF poses a great threat to Negros Occidental, being one of the major producers and gateway of live pigs being supplied to Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas.
Other banned items from Panay province, composed of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, Aklan, as well as Guimaras, include boar semen, aside from pork and its related products, Lacson said.
Provincial Veterinary Officer Dr. Placeda Lemana yesterday said that she already alerted all quarantine inspectors in ports of Bacolod City, Valladolid, EB Magalona, Himamaylan City, Hinigaran, Sipalay City, and other small ports in Negros Occidental to be extra vigilant in preventing the entry of pork products and live pigs from other areas of Western Visayas.
Negros Occidental is one of the top backyard hog producers in the country, with an industry pegged at about P6 billion.
Lemana also called on backyard and commercial hog raisers to be vigilant to contain the possible spread of ASF.
Lacson ordered the Provincial ASF Task Force to conduct rigid and stringent screening and inspection of incoming shipments of live animals and pork products.
The task force has been also directed to conduct checkpoints to intercept and control the movement of live animals, pork, and pork byproducts entering the province and confiscate any undocumented shipments.
All transport carriers, upon arrival at the province’s seaports, must undergo mandatory and regular disinfection. Hog raisers in Negros Occidental, which currently remains ASF free, are also ordered to report any unusual mortalities among their stock to ensure prompt and immediate response.
For the past three years, Negros Occidental has prohibited the entry of live pigs and pork byproducts from Luzon, Mindanao, and parts of the Visayas to protect the local hog industry.
Lacson also ordered the 31 mayors to ensure the strict implementation of preventive and safeguard measures as embodied in the ASF Preventive Ordinance of Negros Occidental.
You are hereby enjoined to coordinate with the Provincial ASF Task Force the activities and operation of your local task force, to ensure a coordinated response and action throughout the province, he told the local chief executives, in his issued memorandum.*