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P1.3M worth of pork from ASF areas seized

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana reported yesterday the confiscation of P1.3 million of pork and its related products from Cebu and Panay islands from April 1 to 10, as they further strengthened monitoring against the entry of African Swine Fever virus from neighboring islands.

Lemana reported that 9.52 kilos of pork and 37,680 packs of processed food, with a total market value of P1.2 million, which were intercepted at ports in northern Negros and were shipped back to Cebu, during the same period.

Negros Occidental and highly urbanized Bacolod City have permanently banned the entry of live pig, boar semen, sows, piglets and pork related products from Cebu, Panay, and Guimaras islands due to the confirmed detection of ASF in those areas.

Lemana also reported the confiscation and destruction of P100,246 worth of pork and processed foods, including lechon from Iloilo, intercepted at the BREDCO Port in Bacolod City.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported that Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental are among the 20 provinces all over the country that remain ASF (African Swine Fever)-free, as of this time.

Despite BAI reports, the provincial government of Cebu extended until April 20, or another 15 days, the temporary ban on the entry of live hogs, piglets, boar semen and pork related products from Negros Island.

Despite the extension of the ban in Cebu, hog raisers in Negros Occidental managed to ship out 11,099 heads of live pigs to other areas of the country, especially Metro Manila, from January to March this year.

Lemana, however said the figure went down by 2,000 to 3,000 heads, compared to the same period last year.

What the hog raisers did, Lemana said, was converting it to processed foods, since Negros Occidental is not getting such from Cebu and Iloilo.

While the prices of pork in Luzon, is as high as P400 per kilo, she said pork meat consumers in the province are enjoying an average price of P280 per kilo.*

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