AS PART of the preventive measures against the spread of African swine fever (ASF), local feed millers and the Cebu Provincial Government have agreed to subject raw materials from Mindanao to a 20-day quarantine.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said they came up with the agreement after discussing the matter with feed millers last Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.
“We agreed to subject to a 20-day quarantine all raw materials coming from Mindanao before they use it for production,” she said in Cebuano on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
The governor issued on Feb. 19 Executive Order (EO) 8 that expands the pork ban and prohibits all airports, seaports and other gateways in Cebu from allowing the entry of live hogs, pork-related products, byproducts and commingled food products.
Included in the expanded ban are genetic materials such as boar semen, breeder pigs and boar that come from Luzon, Mindanao, Eastern Visayas and other ASF-affected areas.
The measure is based on Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Circular 12-2019 pertinent to the National Zoning and Movement Plan for ASF.
“The executive order we issued banning feeds coming from Mindanao will take effect on March 9, but feeds coming from Luzon will be banned effective immediately,” Garcia said.
The governor said this will give feed millers enough time to impose biosecurity measures for ingredients coming from Mindanao.
“While we continue to allow the entry of feeds from Mindanao for two weeks, these feeds will be subjected to very strict biosecurity measures to see to it that there will be no animal plasma included,” she added in Cebuano.
The development, though, won’t affect the supply and demand from local hog raisers.
Garcia said millers in Cebu produce an estimated 1.2 million bags of feeds a month, but local hog producers only need 300,000 monthly.
“It’s more than enough to cover the demand of our local hog industry. However, we lack the raw materials, especially corn. We have to import it from Mindanao. But we all know that bacteria thrives on anything--that’s why the need to quarantine raw materials was brought up,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Cebuano.
Moreover, the governor is set to issue another EO that will establish protocols for the quarantine of raw materials coming in from Mindanao.
“The international standard provides the need to quarantine for 10 days on the presumption that it has been awhile since the materials were shipped. But because we’re too close to Mindanao, we’ve extended the quarantine period to 20 days,” Garcia said.
Feed millers, though, already have their own facilities since they have been implementing the protocol on quarantine.
She said millers are already following international standards on quarantine as part of the protocol for importing raw materials abroad.
“The international standard provides the need to quarantine for 10 days on the presumption that it has been a awhile since the materials were shipped. But because we’re too close to Mindanao, we’ve extended the quarantine period to 20 days,” Garcia said.
The Provincial ASF Task Force will closely monitor millers to ensure that the measures are enforced and failure to comply will result in
closure of production plants.
Meanwhile, personnel from the DA 7 met with Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino to discuss preventive measures in relation to ASF.
Led by DA 7 ASF Focal Person Daniel Ventura Jr., the personnel asked Dino for funding assistance for the purchase of an equipment that will test suspected ASF cases in Central Visayas.
The equipment will cost P98 million.
For its part, the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo) has guaranteed that local feed millers in the region are producing more than what local hog producers consume.
CeViPPCo president Rolando Tambago said that in the meeting with the governor on Feb. 24, millers assured her of “more than enough” supply for hog producers.
“We have a very big production of feeds in Cebu. In fact, our production is more than our consumption. Local feed millers are selling outside of Cebu, even reaching Luzon,” he said.
Effective on March 9, there will be a total ban of feeds coming from Luzon and Mindanao.
Tambago however clarified that some hog producers who bought their feeds outside of Cebu are given 14 days transition period because of the specific nutritional formulation of their feeds.
He said there are around 10 feed millers in Cebu that have big production capacity. (RTF / JOB)