THE provincial board has approved Tuesday, November 19, an ordinance which aims to impose an automatic ban on importation of pork to protect the Negros swine industry from diseases such as the African Swine Fever.
Board Member Andrew Montelibano, chairperson of the committee on agriculture, said the proposal will help protect the province’s P6-billion swine industry.
Montelibano pointed out they are also protecting the province’s population to make sure the pork being consumed by the residents is free from any disease.
Once the ordinance is signed, Montelibano said the current 90-day suspension on the import of hogs and pork products in the province will be extended indefinitely until the national government declares an all clear.
“It’s going to be difficult if the disease enters Negros, that’s why our precautionary measures are very important,” Montelibano said.
With concerns over the smuggling of imported pork products in the province, Montelibano said the provincial task force on African swine fever should closely guard the province’s entry points.
Earlier, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson revealed plans to extend the ongoing 90-day pork ban due to the ongoing issues affecting Luzon.
“As you can see, it is already spreading in Luzon and it’s no longer limited to the three [initial] provinces identified before,” he previously explained.
Lacson urged Negros Occidental consumers to patronize local pork products. In particular, with the holiday season just weeks away, he advised the public to try locally-produced ham.
“Support our local industry and buy local pork products,” Lacson urged.
The governor also lauded efforts by the provincial task force on African swine fever to protect the local hog industry and urged them not to let their guard down.
“I commend them but we need to continue being vigilant. One mistake can cause problems for the whole Negros Occidental,” he stressed. (TDE)