Zamboanga bans pork from Luzon, Mindanao provinces
ZAMBOANGA CITY has banned the entry of pork from Luzon and many provinces in Mindanao where there are reported cases of the African swine fever or ASF.
Mayor Beng Climaco said the local government imposed the ban not only on pork, but processed
pork products as well from the whole island of Luzon and Panabo City, Talaingod and Santo Tomas towns in Davao del Norte, and all municipalities or areas in Davao del Sur except the town of Hagonoy; and the Davao Occidental towns of Jose Abad Santos, Don Marcelino, Malita and Santa Maria. Also Kidapawan City, the towns of Magpet, Makilala, Matalam, M’lang, President Roxas, Tulunan, Antipas, Arakan in North Cotabato; and the towns of Columbio in Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani’s Alabel, Glan, Malapatan and Malungun town.
AFS virus which is transmitted to pigs through direct contact with infected pigs, their waste, contaminated clothing, feed, equipment and vehicles, and in some cases, some tick species.
Although ASF cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork, the virus causes a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in domestic pigs; some isolates can cause death of animals as quickly as a week after infection.
Climaco also praised border guards and local authorities for their strict implementation of safety measures to ensure that Zamboanga remains free from ASF amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
She also sought the cooperation of all stakeholders and strongly advised pork sellers to secure the necessary permits or documents from local or the National Meat Inspection Service.
“We seek the cooperation of all livestock transporters and dealers to acquire pigs from local hog producers or from Asf-free localities to support our local swine industry. Transport of livestock is governed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Circular 12, series of 2019.”
“In the same manner, we advise all sellers to secure pork and pork products that were inspected and passed Local or National Meat Inspection Service standards and demand for the meat inspection certificate for the day as proof of inspection. Let us keep Zamboanga City ASF Free,” Climaco said.
Last June, local authorities destroyed over 200 kilos of confiscated processed meat and chicken products which came from Cebu City.
The Bureau of Animal Industry and the DA seized the meat products from a boat after alert security guards and port police inspected the vessel to ensure they were free from the ASF virus. The meat products - 194 kilos of processed meats and 30 kilos of chicken products - had been mis-declared and did not have documents. It was all burned in the presence of representatives from the Food and Drug Administration, the Meat Inspection Service and DA.
Climaco said the City Veterinary Office continues to strictly implement the DA guidelines of zoning and protocols with regards to the movement, sale, and trade of hogs, pork and pork products to contain the spread of ASF in the country.
She signed early this year the Executive Order 543–2020 in support to the DA guidelines and also in pursuant to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order urging local and national government agencies to harmonize efforts with the DA in stopping the spread of ASF.
Checkpoints have been placed in entry and exit points in Zamboanga since last year to ensure that no infected hogs and its pork products slip past the city.
She said personnel from the City Veterinarian Office continue to inspect and conduct disinfection of trucks transporting live pigs and other animals to Zamboanga to protect the hog population against the ASF.