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Zambo tightens watch on entry of pigs, pork products

ZAMBOANGA CITY government has prohibited the entry of live pigs, pork and processed pork products, including bore semen from provinces or areas infected with the African swine fever (ASF) which is deadly to pigs.

This, after Mayor Beng Climaco issued a notice supplementing her Executive Order BC-500 dated November 19 to protect the local hog industry following the continuous emergence of new ASF cases in Luzon.

Climaco said food and establishments were also told to strictly comply with the order, especially those that are using pork and pork products from Luzon.

Food establishments are also ordered to comply with the proper disposal of its kitchen refuse or left-over organic matter or waste, and not allowed to give or sell it to individuals to prevent it from being used as feed for hogs.

She also warned individuals or officers of companies or businesses that will be caught or apprehended transporting, selling, and facilitating the sale and transport of prohibited pork products shall be prosecuted and charged in court.

All Punong-Barangays, local stakeholders and other concerned sectors and individuals are hereby directed to be more vigilant and take the necessary actions in order to protect our City against the ASF,” Climaco said in her order.

Despite the spread of ASF in Luzon, Zamboanga City remains free from ASF virus because of the tight watch of the local government on the entry of processed pork products and meat here.

Climaco said random and surprised inspection in public markets and grocery stores, barter trade centers and supermarkets continue to ensure that no canned pork products, particularly those imported from countries where ASF had been reported.

She said the Task Force Karne and the Food and Drugs Administration and the Department of Agriculture were conducting inspections as part of the strict implementation of the executive order and the national ban on the importation, distribution and sale of all processed pork products from countries infected with the ASF such as China.

The task force is comprised of representatives from City Veterinary Office, National Meat Inspection Service, Task Force Ordinance, and Business Permits and Licensing Division.

Climaco said strict protocols will be observed to monitor and regulate the entry of hog and pork products here as a measure against the contagious animal disease. The Department of Agriculture said the first ASF outbreak started on July 25 in mostly backyard pigs in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan and then spread elsewhere in Luzon.

The Food and Drug Administration in May ordered the pull-out from the markets of all processed pork products such as luncheon meat imported from Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. AFS is a large, double-stranded DNA virus in the Asfarviridae family.

The virus 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. (Zamboanga Post)


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