THE Provincial African Swine Fever (ASF) Task Force-Negros Occidental has disposed 56 cans of pork products confiscated at the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City.
The products, including spam, luncheon meat and sausages, were disposed at the airport's Philippine National Police Aviation Security Station on Sunday, December 15.
Dr. Ryan Janoya, head of Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), said these products were from the United States but transshipped in Luzon.
Janoya said these are actually "pasalubong" items brought by some Negrenses, mostly from Bacolod City. The disposal was with consent of the owners.
"Since it was transshipped in Luzon, our task force has to confiscate and disposed the products," he said, stressing that under the provincial ordinance, all pork and pork products coming from Luzon and other ASF-affected areas are permanently banned from entering the province.
On November 26, the Provincial Government officials signed Provincial Ordinance 2019-024, otherwise known as the ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental.
Effective starting December 6, the ordinance provides continuous inspection and confiscation of pork products from ASF-affected areas that will be intercepted among ports.
It was an offshoot of the 90-day temporary pork product ban implemented through Executive Order 19-14 Series of 2019 issued by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson in September 2019.
The temporary ban was among the measures to ensure the safety of the P6 billion swine industry of Negros Occidental, one of the top producers of swine in the country.
It was implemented days after the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed positive cases of ASF in Luzon, particularly in farms of Rizal and Bulacan.
The ban covers live pigs, pork, pork products and by-products from Luzon whether fresh, processed or canned which can carry the ASF virus.
Under the ordinance, violators may face penalties ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 and an imprisonment of one year depending on the gravity of the offense.
Janoya said many Negrenses are expected to bring "pasalubong" items amid the upcoming holiday season. One common product they usually carry are canned goods.
"We are reminding Negrenses as well as their relatives not to transport pork products sourced from Luzon and other ASF-affected areas," Janoya said.
Stricter inspection is being implemented by the task force along with port personnel, he added.