Davao City set to ban pork products from Luzon 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 September) — All pork and its by-products from Luzon and other African Swine Fever (ASF)-affected areas will be banned soon in Davao City.

Dr. Cerelyn Pinili, head of the City Veterinarian’s Office, said during the ISpeak Media Forum at the City Hall of Davao on Thursday, that the draft executive order, completed last September 13, is now waiting for the signature of Mayor Sara Duterte.

Once signed, the executive order will impose a temporary ban on “all pork products and by-products such as tocino, longganisa, and ham coming from Luzon and other ASF-infected areas” to prevent the virus from spreading to the local swine industry, according to Pinili.

She said the measure will also prohibit the swill feeding to the backyard hog raisers to prevent the spread of the virus to other swine, as the food scraps may contain infected pork meat.

According to the Department Agriculture, the ASF outbreaks have been controlled in Barangay Pritil, Guiguinto, Bulacan; and in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo in Rizal.

Aside from Davao City, Dr. Armie Capuyan, DA-regional ASF focal, said a temporary ban on all pork and by-products has been imposed earlier through an executive order in Davao Oriental, the first provincial government in Davao Region to undertake the measure.

She said local government units would have the final say whether to implement a similar measure.

She added the region remains ASF-free.

Davao Region comprises the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao de. Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental and Compostela Valley and the cities of Davao, Tagum, Samal, Panabo, Digos and Mati.

Pinili said the city government has already convened the ASF Task Force, comprising City Planning and Development Office, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, City Agriculturist Office, City Health Office, City Information Office, and the commercial and backyard hog raisers as private sector representatives, tasked to implement Davao City African Swine Fever Protection Program.

The task force was created by an executive order signed by then acting mayor Sebastian Duterte last September 5.

She said the local government will also implement a 24/7 animal quarantine monitoring system in three major checkpoints of the city — Sirawan in Toril, Lacson in Calinan, and Lasang.  Footbaths will be provided there for all passengers entering the city.

For live hogs coming from different parts of the region, she said the local government requires businesses and individuals to present Veterinarian’s Health Certificate and Animal Inspection certificates issued by the Veterinary Quarantine Service before they can be allowed to enter.

Similar requirements are needed for abattoirs in the city, she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)