Garcia lifts ban on entry of pigs, pork from Negros Oriental

Garcia lifts ban on entry of pigs, pork from Negros Oriental
SunStar File

THE Cebu Provincial Government lifted on Thursday the temporary ban on the entry of live hogs, sows, piglets, boar semen and pork-related products from Negros Oriental due to confirmed cases of African swine fever (ASF) in the province last year.

On April 25, 2024, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order 7, a copy of which was posted on the Facebook page of the Cebu Provincial Government.

But while Garcia lifted the temporary ban that she first issued on May 26, 2023, she imposed strict compliance with regulatory requirements for the shipment and movement of live hogs, sows, piglets, boar semen and pork-related products from Negros Oriental to Cebu province.

Garcia directed all the town and city mayors under the Province’s jurisdiction, the port and airport authorities, and the uniformed personnel to strictly enforce the regulatory requirements.

For the entry of live pigs for slaughter or breeding, hog traders and transporters are required to present a Veterinary Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian; livestock handlers license; certification of disease surveillance on classical swine fever and other swine diseases issued by the city veterinarian/municipal agriculturist/municipal agriculture officer (for backyard farms); and certificate of ASF-free status (for commercial farms).

Traders and transporters were also required to secure negative ASF test results within seven days from shipment, concurrence of shipment from the provincial veterinarian, a local shipping permit and a livestock transport pass.

An additional requirement for the entry of live hogs for breeding is the Animal Welfare Registration.

For the entry of genetic materials such as semen to Cebu province, the requirements include a veterinary health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, animal welfare registration, certificate of laboratory compliance for PRRS and Brucellosis, negative ASF test result within seven days before shipment, certificate of ASF-free status, shipping permit and concurrence of shipment from the provincial veterinarian.

For frozen pork products, the meat inspection certificate for locally sourced meat from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), certificate of meat inspection for imported meat from the NMIS, Certificate of Acceptance from the Provincial Veterinary Office and a Transport Pass are required.

On the other hand, those who wish to transport processed, cooked and canned pork products are required to secure a License to Operate, Concurrence of shipment from the Provincial Veterinarian and a Transport Pass.

Trucks and downtime

Trucks and reefer vans transporting pigs and pork products into Cebu Province must register with the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, and these vehicles must adhere to Cebu Province’s Livestock Transport Pass requirements and observe a seven-day downtime period.

In 2023, both Cebu and Negros Oriental imposed temporary bans on the entry of live hogs, sows, semen, pork meat and related products and by-products due to confirmed cases of ASF in the two provinces.

On March 1, 2023, the first reported ASF case was logged in Carcar City, southern Cebu, and it was reported that the slaughtered hogs with confirmed ASF disease came from Negros Island.

The ASF Zoning Map and culling policy of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) was then imposed on the province; however, Garcia nullified their implementation on March 21, 2023, citing the “economic” damage of the policies on the P11 billion hog industry of Cebu.

The following month, former Cebu City veterinarian Dr. Alice Utlang told SunStar Cebu that the virus that causes ASF was in fact first detected in Cebu in Barangay Vito, Minglanilla town on Nov. 16, 2022, and not in Carcar City on March 1, 2023 as declared by the provincial veterinarian.

Negros Oriental reported its first ASF case in Barangay Maayong Tubig, Dauin town on May 20, 2023.

BAI policies restrict the movement of live pigs, semen, pork meat, pork-related products and by-products through the color coding of local government units by risk assessment and require the culling of live hogs within the 500-meter radius of the infected zone. / EHP


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