Veterinary office strictly regulates entry of meats

THE Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) in Negros Occidental has further strengthened its protocols in strictly monitoring the entry of meat products amid fears over the African swine fever.

PVO head Dr. Renante Decena said during last week's monitoring they have managed to "hold" several meat products from passengers.

Decena said they always look for documents for those transporting meat products, such as shipping permits and the Certificate of Meat Inspection.

He also said they have assigned PVO personnel in the ports of Bacolod, Escalante, and San Carlos.

To further combat swine fever, Decena said one of the solutions they are currently studying is a proposal to improve the meat processing capability of local hog raising associations.

The PVO head pointed out that improved meat processing capabilities means importing meat products in the province will no longer be necessary, and the products being sold to consumers are safe.

Last month, the PVO formed a task force to handle swine flu and to regulate the sale of frozen meat throughout Negros Occidental.

In addition, the provincial office has also ordered for all pork products from China to be pulled out from market shelves across the province.

Among the brands identified include Narcissus, Heaven Temple, Ma Ling, Shabu Shabu, Sol Primo, Wang Taste of Korea, Highway, Sky Dragon, and Weilin.

Based on studies conducted by veterinarians outside the Philippines, the infection is believed to originate from ornithodoros, a type of soft-bodied tick.

Hogs are infected after they are bitten by the tick, which then contaminates their blood.

The virus has no effect on humans, but there is a need for strict monitoring at airports and seaports in order to prevent the virus from entering the country.

The PVO made the move to monitor the entry of meat products in the province, after the Department of Agriculture announced they have recorded several “suspicious” deaths of hogs in some areas of the country.


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