The Bureau of Animal Industry in Negros Oriental has cautioned hog traders against the illegal transport of animals outside of the province using fake shipping and other documents as they will be held legally accountable or risk permit revocation.
The warning came after President Rodrigo Duterte placed the Philippines under a state of calamity last week due to the outbreak of the African swine fever that has affected millions of pigs across the country, with strengthened security at borders to prevent further spread of the disease.
Dr. Alfonso Tundag, quarantine officer of the BAI-Negros Oriental, said they are closely watching the entry and exit points of the province after they intercepted a truckload of pigs early this month at a wharf in San Jose town for attempting to transport live pigs to the nearby province of Cebu, using recycled documents and lacking other requirements.
BAI records indicate that a show cause order was issued to the respondent-shipper/consignee of the intercepted live pigs, identified as Raul Paculanang and Teresita Paculanang of Dumolog, Talisay, Cebu City.
Tundag said a veterinary quarantine officer on duty on May 5 at the Tampi Port in San Jose reported a shipment of 135 heads of swine loaded at the Matiao Shipping en route to Cebu.
Upon inspection, there were “violations” found, such as the absence of a valid shipping permit, and the presentation of a used and expired veterinary health certificate.
The “recycled” veterinary health certificate was originally issued on April 14, 2021 and was used for a shipment the following day. The document is not allowed for reuse under the law, he said.
The hogs were returned to their origin in Negros Oriental while the respondents were given a certain number of days to file an answer or else their shipping permit will be revoked or canceled, Tundag said.
He said the suspension of the respondents’ shipping permit is still in effect while awaiting a resolution from the BAI regional office.
As of Friday, the BAI regional office has not yet received the respondents’ reply to the show cause order.*PNA