BACOLOD City – The Provincial Board (PB) of Negros Occidental passed on third and final reading the measure that would institutionalize a ban on entry of pork and pork products from African swine fever-affected.
Board member Andrew Montelibano, chairman of the PB’s Committee on Agriculture, said he authored this ordinance as a means to protect the province from the continuous spread of the dreaded pig disease.
He underscored the need for a permanent law preventing the entry of any live pig, boar semen, pork and pork products, including food items containing pork, saying that ASF cannot be eradicated in 10 to 20 years in Luzon.
“It’s going to be difficult if the disease enters Negros, that’s why our precautionary measures are very important,” Montelibano said.
He added that once the ordinance is signed by Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson, the current 90-day suspension on the import of hogs and pork products will be extended indefinitely and will be lifted once ASF has been eradicated in the country.
Lacson, who chairs the Provincial ASF Task Force, earlier issued an executive order enforcing pork ban from ASF-hit areas for a period of 90 days. It took on Sept. 18.
The governor said the ordinance will now identify the prohibited acts and items, include the prohibition on use of waste items and left-overs, and determine the responsibilities of the ASF task force, PVO, and local government units. A penalty clause is also included, he added.
Negros Occidental is the country’s number one backyard hog producer, with a P6-billion swine industry./PN