De Oro joins growing list of areas shunning Luzon pork
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The city joined a growing list of areas banning the entry of pork and pork products, hog and boar semen from Luzon which is wrestling with a rising number of cases of African swine fever (ASF).
City spokesperson Maricel Casiño-Rivera said the order, signed by Mayor Oscar Moreno last Sept. 30, was to protect the region’s hog industry from ASF contamination.
This city is regional seat of Northern Mindanao, one of the top hog-producing regions in the country in 2019, churning out close to 200,000 metric tons of pork and pork products every year.
Rivera said the order was to heed recommendations made by the regional Department of Agriculture office and the Northern Mindanao Hog Producers Association.
“We made a lot of consultations but the hog owners and the DA made a strong appeal for the ban,” Rivera said.
Juliet Araos, of the DA’s regional ASF Task Force, said it was all about “prevention.” “We want to protect our hogs,” she said.
Araos said there has not been a case of ASF in the region, including this city.
Last Sept. 11, the provincial government of Misamis Oriental also banned the entry of pork and pork products.
In Cagayan de Oro, raisers were also told to stop feeding their pigs with leftover food.
Araos said agriculture technicians are wary of the highly contagious disease spreading in the region and city through several port of entries—Mindanao International Container Terminal, Laguindingan Airport and Macabalan Port.
“There is still a chance that the viral disease can get through despite our strict monitoring,” Araos said.
According to Rivera, the ban was temporary and did not apply to pork or pork products originating in Mindanao, which remained free of ASF.
Pork and pork products originating from Mindanao areas are still allowed to be sold in groceries and supermarkets.
The ban on pork from Luzon included frozen and canned products.
On Monday, Sept. 30, provincial veterinarian Benjamin Resma appealed to people to remind relatives and friends not to bring pork and pork products from Luzon./TSB
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