ASF ban now covers meat stored with Luzon pork

Rona Joyce T. Fernandez

ALTHOUGH there has been no reported case of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in Cebu, the Provincial Government is prohibiting the entry of all meat or any food products that have been commingled with pork-related products from Luzon.

Aside from this, the ban on shipments of live hogs, pork, pork-related products, by-products and boar semen from Luzon has been extended until June 30, 2020.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia issued on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, Executive Order (EO) 23, which declares unlawful the bringing into Cebu Province of any and all kinds of meat (chicken, beef or fish) and any kind of food product that have been stored in the same cold storage facility with pork, pork-related products and byproducts sourced from Luzon.

The Central Visayas offices of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the Department of Agriculture will determine if there was commingling of food products with pork-related products from Luzon.

The direct shipment of chicken, pork, fish, beef or any food product from ASF-free countries will be allowed entry in Cebu.

Provided, though, that the imported product is accompanied by a sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance or a veterinary quarantine clearance from the Bureau of Animal Industry.

The transhipment of all kinds of meat that passes through Luzon, on the other hand, shall be prohibited unless the seal of the container van carrying the meat products remains intact and untampered.

The Provincial ASF task force seized 3,800 kilos of processed pork from a liempo and lechon manok store in Barangay Casuntingan, Mandaue City on Oct. 20, 2019.

The store is a branch of a liempo and lechon manok store based in Pasig City.

But aside from the pork products, the ASF task force also found packs of chicken meat products in the same cold storage.

Since there was already commingling, the NMIS had advised that the chicken meat be disposed of through thermal destruction.

Provincial Veterinarian Mary Rose Vincoy said that while the ASF is only fatal to pigs, commingling would expose the chicken meat to possible fomites and bacterial contamination.

As for the extension of the ban, the governor decided on the matter after samples of Mekeni Food Corp. skinless longaniza and hotdog tested positive for ASF.