DUMAGUETE CITY — The provincial government of Negros Oriental has imposed a total ban on the entry of live hogs and pork products from areas plagued by the African Swine Fever (ASF), particularly Cebu.
In an executive order dated Apr. 18 and released to the public Tuesday, Gov. Carlo Jorge Joan "Guido" Reyes said the total ban would be in effect indefinitely.
Live hogs, boar semen, imported and local pork, pork-related products, including pork-based processed meat coming from Cebu and other ASF-hit areas would be denied entry to Negros Oriental, according to the order.
Transport of live hogs from Negros Oriental to Cebu will also be suspended for 30 days "while the safety measures regarding the movement and quarantine protocols are still being prepared," Reyes wrote.
All of the province's ports have been ordered to strictly implement border control and veterinary quarantine measures, including the inspection of vehicles carrying meat, poultry, and livestock, as well as private vehicles and their passengers.
Reyes ordered the formation of an ASF task force in Negros Oriental, with one team in each of the province's 3 congressional districts. The team will be composed of personnel from the National Meat Inspection Service, the Provincial Veterinary Office, Department of Agriculture, and the Philippine National Police, among others.
Each of the province's over 557 barangays is also ordered to set up ASF monitoring teams, dubbed "Barangay Bantay ASF."
As of writing, Negros Oriental remains free from ASF.
Reyes wrote in his order that he imposed the ban to "ensure the safety of its constituency and total livestock until the ASF present in our neigbhoring provinces' local swine is properly contained and controlled."
Other provinces in the Visayas, particularly Bohol, have also implemented similar measures to curb the spread of ASF.
The Department of Agriculture earlier confirmed that ASF cases were reported in several towns in Cebu, particularly Cebu City, Liloan, Sibonga, Tuburan, and Bogo City.
The National Livestock Program projected a possible pork shortage in the coming months due to ASF.
The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) had reported that 17 provinces in 10 regions across the country have been plagued by the disease.
While ASF does not infect humans, its spread among hogs have created a dent in the country's pork producers.