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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, February 11, 2019
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Tight security in seaports, airport
in Negros versus pork from Japan
BY MARK L. GARCIA

 

Tight security in all seaports in Negros Occidental and at the Bacolod-Silay Airport was assured by the Provincial Veterinary Office yesterday, after Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol imposed a ban on the entry of pork and pork products from Japan due to the African Swine Flu (ASF) threat.

Provincial Veterinarian, Dr. Renante Decena, said they already deployed more personnel in seaports in Bacolod, particularly Bredco and Banago, and in Escalante, San Carlos, and Cadiz, and at the Bacolod-Silay Airport, among others.

He said they deployed about seven personnel per port as the Bureau of Animal Industry has not enough staff to monitor these areas to prevent the entry of pork and pork products with ASF virus into the province.

Piñol, in his Facebook post, announced that he is imposing a ban on the entry of pork and other pork products from Japan, following reports of ASF spread in that country.

ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and production losses.

He also said that at noon yesterday, he alerted the BAI, through Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano, to immediately impose a ban after reading reports that there is a spread of the virus among the pig livestock in Japan.

Piñol also said a written formal directive will be issued shortly on the imposition of the temporary ban against the entry of pork and pork products from Japan which will be in effect while quarantine officials are validating the reports.

He also directed all quarantine officers in ports of entry all over the country to implement the ban immediately and review their quarantine protocols, including the footbaths installed at the ports and the monitoring of all meat products being brought into the country by tourists.

The Philippines already banned pork products from eight countries to prevent the spread of ASF in piggeries. These are Belgium, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine, as announced by Piñol on Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, Decena also said they maintain their tight security on the entry of meat products since October last year.

So far, the cooperation of Negrenses is 100 percent, as PVO has been aggressive in its education and information campaign about the disease, he said.

He also urged Negrenses to buy local meat products, given that the province has a sufficient pork supply.

They are also promoting black pigs in the province as a viable meat product available in the local markets, he added.*

 

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