Pork ban remains in Negros Occidental

Pork ban remains in Negros Occidental

The ban on the entry of hogs and pork products from red-coded areas for African swine fever (ASF) is still strictly observed in Negros Occidental, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said Thursday, February 22.

"We will continue to follow our policy. We will continue to be strict with regards to the entry of pork products especially from areas coded as red," Lacson said.

He made the stand after Governor Chaco Sagarbarria of Negros Oriental signed on Wednesday Executive Order No. 10 lifting the ban on the transport and movement of live pigs, pork products, and by-products into the province.

As far as Negros Occidental is concerned, Lacson said "What is important is how to recover."

"When we release our cash assistance to ASF-affected hog raisers in the province, we explain to them that they should not rush and just follow the protocol. There should be no shortcuts because anytime we are hit again, many will suffer and will be affected. We want to return to the status as the province with the biggest backyard hog raisers," he said.

Sagarbarria, on the other hand, expressed optimism about the positive impact of Executive Order No. 10 on the local economy.

He cited the data showing that during the ASF outbreak last year, 300,000 pigs were culled, causing a sharp 20.8 percent decline in pork production growth.

This resulted in pork prices soaring due to the imbalance in supply and demand.

In Bacolod City, pork prices have increased to P410 per kilo.

By reopening the province's borders to hog raisers, Sagarbarria aims to "create opportunities for businesses to flourish and contribute to a cost-effective market economy in Negros Oriental."

The decision to lift the ban comes as a welcome relief to hog raisers and consumers alike, who have been grappling with the aftermath of the ASF outbreak, Sagarbarria added.*

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