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Provincial ASF task force gets reinforcements

BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

The city government of Bacolod has reinforced the manpower of the Provincial Anti-African Swine Flu Task Force, currently guarding the BREDCO and Banago Ports, as they further tightened security against the entry of port and its related products from Panay and Guimaras island.

“It’s very helpful that we now have the cooperation of the Bacolod City government,” Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana said. Right now we are manning the BREDCO Port and the Banago Port, all in Bacolod City, she pointed out.

Forty City Hall job order workers and 10 policemen from the Bacolod City Police Office have been assigned to guard the two major ports of Bacolod City.

The presence of the police makes it easier for them to open packages of arriving passengers from Iloilo, Lemana said.

She also said that aside from ports, the vast shorelines of Negros Occidental are also being closely monitored closely and guarded by the joint ASF task force of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, as they try to detect the possible entry of live pigs and pork-related products from neighboring islands.

Last week, barangay officials and personnel of the Provincial Veterinarian Office, as well as the Municipal Agriculture Office, intercepted five kilos of raw pork from Tapaz, Capiz, which was carried by a woman, intended for guests attending a wake in Sitio Panaosawon, Brgy. Tuburan, EB Magalona.

ASF cases have been detected in five municipalities of Iloilo, prompting the joint ASF task force in Negros Occidental not to take any chances.

As of weekend, Lemana reported that a total of 128.12 kilos or 200 packs of processed pork, originating from Iloilo and Pampanga, were confiscated at the Bacolod Silay Airport and the ports of BREDCO and Banago in Bacolod City.

Aside from ports in Bacolod City and the shorelines of the province, they are also monitoring ports in EB Magalona, Pulupandan, and the cities of San Carlos, Cadiz, Escalante and Sagay, to ensure the ASF-free status of the province, she added.

Lemana also noted that the travel of boars for reproduction is also one that causes of rapid ASF transmission.

As pork is now being sold at P150 per kilo in Iloilo, Lemana also raised the possibility that it may affect neighboring areas, including Negros Occidental.*

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