The Negros Occidental provincial government will permanently ban pork imports from Luzon and African swine fever-affected areas to keep the province free from the dreaded virus.
This came after members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed the ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental pushed by Board Member Andrew Montelibano during their regular session yesterday that was unanimously supported by the board.
The ordinance will cover all live pigs, boar semen, pork and pork products including, but not limited to canned goods and food items containing pork whether cooked or uncooked, originating from, manufactured, and processed in Luzon and in ASF-affected countries and in other areas declared by the Department of Agriculture and World Organization for Animal Health.
Also prohibited is the disposal of food wastes and leftovers as swill feed by restaurants, hotels, aircraft, sea vessels, and other similar establishments in the territorial jurisdiction of Negros Occidental, the ordinance states.
Violators of the ordinance will pay fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 and face jail time of six months to one year, while a P500,000 budget will be allocated annually for the enforcement, operation, and implementation of the ordinance.
During the public hearing yesterday morning, Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said there was no opposition from the various sectors, especially those whose businesses were affected following the temporary ban on pork imports from Luzon and ASF-affected areas.
He said business establishments will have to relocate their source of pork to meet their demands, adding that the demand for local pork has increased.
He said the ordinance will be submitted to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer for their signatures, and that it will take effect 10 days after publication, just before the 90-day ban on pork imports will end on December 18.
Meanwhile, members of the Provincial Board also approved the resolution of Board Member Sixto Guanzon and Montelibano that declares Negros Occidental as an ASF-free province.
The resolution said it intended to safeguard and protect the swine industry from the widespread fear that may result in poor consumption of pork.*
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