240,000 eggs destroyed at Bacolod City port amid bird flu scare
BACOLOD CITY — About 240,000 table eggs worth P1.4 million were intercepted and burned by authorities at a port here on February 5.
The destruction of the eggs was in accordance with the joint Executive Order (EO) of Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez and Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson to fight the threat of avian influenza, commonly called bird flu.
“Public health and safety will always be the topmost priority of the Bacolod City government,” City Legal Officer Romeo Carlos Ting Jr. said on Sunday, February 12.
For his part, Lacson said that the origin of the eggs was unknown.
“In fact, the personnel of the delivery truck said that their destination was Iloilo, but instead dropped a number of eggs in Bacolod,” the governor said.
“They even showed documents that they are in the business of pork. We should not distribute these eggs in our province simply because of [their] questionable origin. Avian Flu is still a concern,” he added.
The vehicle driver that transported the seized items alleged that the eggs were from Bantayan Island, Cebu.
However, the expired permit presented by the driver showed that the eggs came from D. Santillan Piggery Farm in Mancilang, Madridejos, Cebu and were bound for the Tabunok Public Market in Talisay City, Cebu.
“The declared quantity of eggs was only 20,000,” Ting said.
He said there was no way of confirming if the eggs came from an avian influenza-free area since the shipper failed to present the requirements.
“We can’t risk the chances of these contraband items penetrating our markets. Though it often just affects birds, isolated cases of humans being infected with the HSN1 virus have already been reported,” Ting said.
“The poultry industry in the province of Negros Occidental holds a value close to P8 billion and we are one of the top poultry-producing provinces in the country, a clear testimony that dangerous cases like this must not be taken lightly nor be tolerated,” he added.
Negros Occidental and Bacolod remain free from avian influenza.
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