‘Hot meat’ seized at Dumaguete City port

DUMAGUETE. Quarantine inspectors of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Negros Oriental seize some raw meat and meat by-products from a passenger who disembarked at the Dumaguete port from Tagbilaran, Bohol on Tuesday afternoon, November 19, 2019. Authorities have tightened watch against the possible entry of the African Swine Fever virus in the province. (Photo courtesy of the Bureau of Animal Industry-Negros Oriental)

DUMAGUETE CITY -- Quarantine inspectors of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in Negros Oriental on Tuesday, November 19, seized raw meat and some by-products from a fast craft that arrived at the 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), said Dr. Alfonso Tundag, quarantine officer of BAI-Negros Oriental.

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 from the M/V Oceanjet fast craft from Tagbilaran, around 2:30 p.m.

Quarantine Inspectors Ron Paul Sadia and Marlon Mapula of BAI-Negros Oriental intercepted the items, which 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 for X-ray scanning at the passenger departure terminal, Sadia said.

Meanwhile, Dr. 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, which currently remain free of the disease. (PNA)


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