• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas reported a “tremendous increase” in the volume of processed meat products from neighboring regions and provinces, coming into the region, warning that the African Fever Swine virus can thrive in processed and frozen meat.
In an advisory it issued, DA Western Visayas enjoined local government units in the region to strengthen precautionary measures against the possible entry of the ASF virus, through frozen meat products.
It also alerted all cities and towns in Negros Occidental, especially in coastal areas, to further strengthen border checkpoints against pork and pork-by-products, coming from neighboring regions or islands that are ASF-affected.
Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have prohibited the entry of pigs and pork products from the neighboring province of Cebu, including Bantayan Island and Camotes Island, following the detection ASF cases in Carcar City, Cebu.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia had earlier ordered the ban on the entry of live hogs, sows, piglets, boar semen, pork, and pork-related products from Negros Island, until April 5.
Negros Occidental and Bacolod City also imposed a total ban on the entry of all live pigs, boar semen, pork, pork products and other pork-related items into the province from Luzon, Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Panay Island and Guimaras Island.
Negros Occidental, which has a P6 billion hog industry, is listed as a dark green zone, or ASF-free, by the Department of Agriculture, according to Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson.
Lacson had issued an appeal to Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, to allow the passage of pork shipment products bound for Eastern Visayas, through Cebu, from Negros Occidental.
He reiterated that Negros Occidental has not been declared as a “red zone” for ASF cases.*