Neg. Occ. pork ban includes close watch of slaughterhouses, markets

Negros Occidental is beefing up measures to prevent banned pigs and pork products from entering the province to avert a recurrence of the massive African swine fever (ASF) pig deaths last year, Dr. Placeda Lemana, provincial veterinarian, said Tuesday, February 27.

Lemana said aside from banning pigs and pork products from entering Negros Occidental ports, they will also be monitoring slaughterhouses, auction houses and markets.

Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson issued Executive Order 24-07 on Monday banning the entry into Negros Occidental of such products from areas with reported cases of ASF, including Bacolod City and Negros Oriental.

Lemana met with Alliance of Hog Raisers Association of Negros Occidental (AHRANO) members on Tuesday to brief them on the governor’s EO following Bacolod’s lifting of its ban on the entry of pigs and pork products into the city, and to call for vigilance.

AHRANO supports the continued ban in Negros Occidental to protect the hog industry as they continue sentineling and resume restocking of pigs, Lemana said.

“We’re very strict because we are in the sentineling stage, we don’t want to get infected again. We don’t want to experience again what happened last year when our hog population could have been wiped out,” she added.

The sentineling program is a science-based preparation for hog repopulation in ASF-stricken areas to ascertain that the disease no longer exists.

“The majority of the cities and municipalities in Negros Occidental are classified as pink to light green zones and are now ready for hog repopulation and implementation of biosecurity measures to prevent the recurrence of transboundary diseases,” Lacson said.

Pink (buffer) zone refers to local government units where ASF is not detected but demarcated immediately around a red (infected) zone, while the light green zone includes those where ASF is not detected and considered moderate risk areas.*CPG with a report from PNA

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