The Provincial African Swine Fever Task Force in Negros Occidental has warned establishments in the province, including Bacolod City, to pull out pork products from Luzon that are displayed in their grocery shelves.
This came a day after the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed an ordinance that will permanently ban pork imports from Luzon and ASF-affected areas to keep the province free from the dreaded virus.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said yesterday that their team has started to roam around business establishments, including malls, in the province to issue warnings, or else they will be held accountable for violating the ordinance, which has yet to take effect.
“We will issue a verbal warning first. If they will not comply, we will serve a written notice. If they still fail to follow our order, we will impose penalties as stipulated in the ordinance,” he said.
He said there are some entry points in the province that have lax security checkpoints, which can easily be bypassed.
“They have to pull out the pork and pork products from Luzon...they claimed it was already there before the banning, but I don’t believe it,” Decena said.
He added that they have pulled out pork and pork products from Luzon in one of the mall supermarkets in Talisay City last week.
The ordinance will strengthen the 90-day ban on the entry of live pigs and pork products from Luzon and ASF-affected areas to the province, he said.
The temporary ban will end on December 18.
“With the ordinance, we can already pursue apprehension against violators. And we will have jurisdiction over Bacolod,” he added.
Bacolod, being a highly-urbanized city, is not under the provincial government.*
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