PIGS around the archipelago can heave a sigh of relief, albeit temporarily, and do whatever it is that pigs today do.
They can wallow in the mud. Eat to their hearts’ content. And basically spend the rest of the day in contemplative bliss. That is, until it is their time to sacrifice their lives to feed the majority of the population who has an insatiable appetite for the “other white meat.”
Okay, so it may not be such an idyllic existence, but then you play with the hand that you’re dealt with.
That is why the country has taken extra precaution in the wake of the African swine fever (ASF) scare.
Already, the Provincial Government, along with concerned agencies, has made sure that no infected pig will reach Cebu’s shores.
When more than 7,000 pigs in Rizal and Bulacan were culled last week after it was discovered that some of them tested positive for the ASF virus, the Capitol decided to pass on pigs and pork-related products from those two provinces in Luzon.
It has also decided to regulate the entry of all pigs and pork-related products from other parts of the country and from abroad, “subject to the compliance of documentary veterinary quarantine requirements that include a veterinary health certificate and veterinary shipping permit from the point of origin, livestock handler’s permit from the Department of Agriculture (DA), livestock and poultry transport/carrier registration form from the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), certificate of vehicle registration from the DA, disinfection clearance (disinfection stub) from the DA-BAI and farm registration from the DA-BAI.
There’s no harm in being extra careful.
After all, ASF is a highly contagious disease that does not discriminate—that is, if you’re a pig—since it doesn’t distinguish between the young and old and the domesticated and wild.
Perhaps, recent developments have made the public realize that it’s time to look for an alternative diet staple.
In Cebu City, vendors at the Unit 2 of the Carbon Public Market report a drop in pork sales. They blame the decline on warnings about the ASF. But they shouldn’t worry too much. With Christmas right around the corner, sales are bound to pick up.
After all, no true-blooded Cebuano can live without the much loved “baboy.”