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Bacolod City lifts pork ban

BACOLOD: Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has lifted the ban on the entry of live pigs, pork and pork products from other parts of the country to address the growing demand and revive the local hog industry.

Benitez signed Executive Order (EO) 09-2024, dated Feb. 23, directing the City Veterinary Office (CVO) ‘to allow the movement of pork and other swine products in the city pursuant to the provisions of Department of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Circular No. 22, series of 2022.’

The mayor was referring to the DA directive that provides national zoning and movement plan for the prevention and control of African swine fever (ASF) and redefines the zone classification.

‘With the increasing demand for pork products, there is a need to issue additional directive to avert any threat of shortage of basic food necessities, and at the same time, prevent the spread of ASF and help revive our local hog industry and its allied industries,” he said.

The mayor said the directive is consistent with the updated DA Adm
inistrative Circular No. 22 and aligned with local issuances and national policies and directives.

Although the ban was already lifted, Benitez maintained that shipments of live pigs, pork, pork products and other related products should be accompanied by necessary permits and pertinent documents when entering Bacolod.

‘To ensure compliance to the DA administrative circular, the CVO shall strictly monitor and screen compliance, particularly on the documentary requirements,’ he added.

Benitez released the EO after he and Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson issued a joint EO, also on Feb. 23, setting aside their joint directive in 2023 and ‘establishing the guidelines for the entry of all live pigs, boar semen, pork, pork products and other related food items from areas with reported cases of ASF.’

Under the DA classification, Bacolod is currently tagged as red (infected) zone while Negros Occidental is identified as dark green (free) zone or cities and municipalities where ASF is not detected an
d are considered of low risk.

‘In view of the different classifications of the Province of Negros Occidental and the City of Bacolod and upon the recommendation of the DA, there is a need to set aside Joint EO No. 1, Series of 2023,’ Lacson and Benitez said.

Earlier this week, Lacson said that Negros Occidental will continue to prohibit the entry of live pigs, pork meat and pork products from red zones to prevent the resurgence of ASF infection.

‘We will continue to follow our policy. We will continue to be strict on the entry of pork products, especially for those from areas color-coded as red,’ he pointed out.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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