The Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod is requesting concerned government agencies to strictly monitor and prevent the entry of imported pork and pork products from countries affected by the African swine fever (ASF).
The request of the SP was addressed to the Bureau of Customs-Bacolod, Bureau of Quarantine-Bacolod, National Meat Inspection Service, City Veterinary Office, and City Health Office, through the Office of the City Mayor, via a resolution authored by Councilor Bart Orola.
The resolution said a threat of hog disease, called the African swine fever, which has killed millions of pigs all over the world and poses grave danger to the Philippine livestock industry, is currently ravaging Europe and other neighboring countries.
It said the Department of Agriculture has imposed strict quarantine protocols to prevent the entry of pork and pork-based products from at least eight countries – Belgium, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
“There is a need to tighten control and monitoring in all ports of entry in our jurisdiction to prevent any contamination or infection that would cause havoc in our local swine industry, and to help maintain the status of our country as one of the countries in the world which is free from animal diseases,” the resolution said.
It said Bacolodnon consumers are also encouraged to patronize locally-produced pork and pork products over imported products for health safety purposes, as well as to uplift the local hog industry.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said in a Facebook post recently that the threat is real and could affect an industry which benefits millions of families, mostly small backyard farmers, who raise 15 million heads of hogs every year.
He already ordered the Bureau of Animal Industry and other DA concerned agencies to implement mitigating measures, such as the establishment of foot baths in all entry points of the country, including cruise ships, mandatory inspection of vessels docking Philippine ports, and confiscation and destruction of all pork products within 24 hours coming from ASF-affected countries.
Returning residents and overseas Filipino workers, especially from countries affected by the ASF, have been advised not to bring in pork or pork-based products, including ham, bacon and others.*CGS with reports from PNA
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