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Davao City latest to ban pork from Luzon

/ 06:33 PM September 26, 2019

DAVAO CITY–Mayor Sara Duterte on Wednesday, Sept. 25, ordered a ban on pork products and byproducts from Luzon and other areas with African swine fever (ASF) cases.

The order followed passage of a City Council resolution last week recommending the ban to protect the local hog industry.

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The order read that the ban was in response to the possibility of ASF reaching the city “in such proportions that would affect the food safety and security of the city.”

It also called for “strict biosecurity and good animal husbandry practices” in swine farms. It also sought to prohibit feeding raw swill, or leftover table food, a practice common among backyard hog raisers.

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If swill had to be fed to pigs, the order said this should be heated to up to 90 degrees Centigrade for at least an hour.

Raisers were encouraged to use commercial feeds.

Hotels, restaurants and food joints were advised not to pass on leftover food to hog raisers.

Traders bringing in hogs into the city would be required to present veterinary health certificates.

The order makes the government of Davao City the latest to institute measures against ASF. Similar measures are already in effect in Misamis Oriental and the cities of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro and Mati.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mindanao Development Authority chair Emmanuel Piñol urged local governments in Mindanao to put in place measures against ASF.

Eduardo So, head of the Hog Raisers Association of Davao, said the ban should be seen as an urgent quarantine measure to protect the multi-billion peso hog industry of Mindanao.

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“This is not an attempt to restrict trade and the free flow of food but an act to protect a huge food production industry which provides income and livelihood to thousands of families,” So said in a statement.

Hog industry leaders also urged local governments “to exercise their powers to stop swill feeding” especially among backyard hog raisers.

Piñol said local governments are in the best position to stop the practice of swill feeding.

“This is the biggest risk that we face because the food wastes could include contaminated pork contained in canned goods,” So said.

So said ASF cases in Luzon were reported in areas near dumps which are sources of food wastes that are sold to backyard hog raisers.

So said that Mindanao governors must follow the examples of Cebu and Bohol leaders who stood pat on their orders to ban entry of pork from areas with ASF.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar had appealed to local governments to wait for guidelines from his department before carrying out bans, but he was not heeded. With a report by Ryan Rosauro/tsb

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TAGS: ASF, council, Industry, Mindanao, Pork, raisers, resolution, Sara Duterte, swill, swine
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