SEVERAL pork products from Manila that were supposed to be brought to Negros Occidental by an official of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) were intercepted by a veterinary quarantine inspector at the Bacolod-Silay Airport in Silay City.
Dr. Ryan Janoya, head of Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), said the passenger brought 12 packs of "longganisa" and four kilograms of "bagnet" [deep fried pork belly] amounting to about P4,200.
Janoya said the official claimed that she forgot about the permanent banning of pork and other related products from Luzon.
According to the official, these goods were given to her as "gifts," added Janoya.
"The passenger was resistant at first but was later convinced to ship the products back to its point of origin," Janoya said, adding that "if she refused to ship it back, the personnel can subject the items to confiscation and disposal."
The interception, confiscation and disposal of pork and other related products sourced from Luzon, Mindanao and countries affected by African Swine Fever (ASF) is provided under Provincial Ordinance 2019-024 or the ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental.
Taking effect starting December 2019, it was one of the measures of the Provincial Government to safeguard the P6 billion local swine industry.
In fact, the PVO earlier reported that the Provincial Task Force on ASF has seized about P3.3 million worth of pork-related products since its campaign against the deadly disease affecting swine started.
The amount accounts for 54,131 pieces of assorted pork-related products, canned goods, as well as fresh and processed pork meat equivalent weighing about 11,370 kilograms apprehended from September 10, 2019 to February 9 this year.
Efforts to prevent the entry of ASF in the province were intensified as the Department of Agriculture recently confirmed positive ASF case in Davao Occidental, the first outside Luzon.
Janoya assured that necessary measures are being implemented especially the conduct of inspection among airport and seaports.
The ordinance is not only selective to certain groups or individuals, it should be for everyone to comply, he added.