Quarantine inspectors of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Negros Oriental yesterday seized raw meat and some by-products from a fast craft that arrived at the Dumaguete port here from Bohol.
The items did not have the pertinent documents from the port of origin, such as a shipping permit and a certificate of meat inspection as required by law as part of efforts to contain the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), Dr. Alfonso Tundag, Quarantine Officer of BAI-Negros Oriental said.
Confiscated were three packs of sausage, two packs of chorizo, one kilogram of raw beef and one kilogram of chicken meat from a passenger who disembarked at around 2:30 p.m. from the M/V Oceanjet fast craft from Tagbilaran.
Quarantine Inspectors Ron Paul Sadia and Marlon Mapula of BAI-Negros Oriental intercepted the items, that were wrapped in plastic and placed inside a styro-box.
In a telephone interview, Sadia said they called the attention of the passenger and asked if they could check the contents of the styro-box. When asked for the pertinent documents, the passenger could not present any.
Sadia said they explained to the passenger they had to confiscate the items, which were later disinfected and disposed of properly.
This is the first time that authorities intercepted and confiscated raw meat and by-products at the Dumaguete port.
Large trucks, delivery vans, and other vehicles departing from the port are also being inspected while travelers have to subject their luggage and other belongings to X-ray scanning at the passenger departure terminal, Sadia said.
Meanwhile, Tundag said that amid the ASF scare in Luzon, the province is still allowing the entry of these items from other places provided that the necessary documents are presented to authorities.
He appealed to the public to understand the current situation and coordinate with government efforts to prevent the entry of the ASF virus in the Visayas and Mindanao regions, that currently remain free of the disease.*PNA
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