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ALERT VS ANIMAL DISEASE

Cebu bans entry of live pigs, pork amid swine fever threat

/ 05:17 AM August 26, 2019

CEBU CITY, Cebu, Philippines — Cebu officials have banned the entry of pork, live pigs and other products derived from pork to the province for 100 days as agriculture officials await results of tests done to confirm if incidents of hog deaths in some areas of the country were due to African swine fever (ASF).

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said even travelers bringing pork for personal consumption would not be allowed into Cebu unless they could present documents from the National Meat Inspection Services or a veterinary health certificate, in the case of live pigs. The ban started on Aug. 23.

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“We are doing this so that what we are afraid will happen will not happen. The confirmatory tests [in Luzon] might take … two weeks or three months,” Garcia said.

The governor convened the Cebu Task Force on ASF on Thursday night. She said the ban or regulated entry of pork was aimed at protecting the P10.9-billion pork industry of Cebu.

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The governor also invited to the meeting representatives of major grocery stores and supermarkets in the province to make sure they would not sell imported meat from countries affected by ASF.

She asked the police and the Philippine Coast Guard to start monitoring ports and roads to and from Cebu. Shipping lines and bus companies had been asked to issue advisories to guide their passengers. Airport authorities will also be asked to monitor the entry of banned items.

Cebu is the largest pork producing province in Central Visayas, with “lechon” (roasted pig) as its showcased delicacy. —DALE G. ISRAEL

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TAGS: African swine fever, ASF, Cebu hog industry, Cebu Task Force on ASF, Gwendolyn Garcia
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