BACOLOD

Negros Occidental vet warns vs online selling of pork products from ASF-hit areas

BACOLOD. Negros Occidental Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena. (Contributed photo)

THE Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has warned online sellers in Negros Occidental especially Bacolod City not to sell pork and other pork products coming from areas affected by African Swine Fever (ASF).

Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena, also the co-chair of the Provincial Task Force against ASF, said they recently discovered that a consignee in Bacolod City has ordered pork siomai with wagyu [beef] from Binondo, Manila through a courier.

Decena said they have sent a letter to the courier and warned the owner who then promised to buy local products.

"We are implementing the full force of the law and ordinances through our task force," he said, urging Negrenses to stay vigilant and maintain the province's ASF-free status.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), in a report, said new strategies by the sellers resulted in new outbreaks of the dreaded animal disease affecting swine.

These outbreaks were recorded after quarantine rules were relaxed, the BAI said.

It added that they [sellers] no longer transport the whole pigs. Rather, process it into different frozen goods and sell it online.

As he urged local consumers not to patronize products from Manila especially Binondo, Decena said strict border monitoring will continue to be implemented.

Decena said airport and seaports in the province are guarded with ASF personnel.

"I already refreshed my team with more eyes and ears, more vigilance," he added.

Erring sellers are warned of corresponding penalties and sanctions.

The provincial veterinarian said that as per national law, the penalties include revocation of licenses for the traders.

While under the provincial ordinance, it is upon the discretion of the court based on the case filed by the legal team, he added.


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