BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN / ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Hogs, boar semen, pork products, and related food items from Region 8 are no longer allowed in Negros Occidental, on orders of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday.
This was after the Department of Agriculture in Region 8, or Eastern Visayas, noted the first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Abuyog town in Leyte.
Eastern Visayas is composed of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern and Northern Samar.
Lacson, in a memorandum he issued yesterday, said that such incident poses a great threat to the province, being one of the major producers and a gateway of live pigs being supplied to Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas.
Under Provincial Ordinance No. 2019-024, or the ASF Prevention Ordinance of Negros Occidental, other areas may also be covered once affected by ASF, Lacson added.
He ordered all local chief executives to ensure the implementation of preventive and safeguard measures, as embodied in the ordinance, and enjoined LGUs to coordinate their activities with the Provincial ASF Task Force to ensure a coordinated response and action throughout the province.
Earlier, the province banned the entry of pigs, pork products, and pork-based items from Davao Region after a positive ASF case was confirmed in Davao Occidental.
Although not harmful to humans, ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, that is responsible for serious economic and production losses. The Provincial ASF Task Force seized almost P5.6 million worth of banned pork products from Jan. 1 to Dec. 27 last year in the airport and seaports of Negros Occidental.*