Veterinary office to check markets for wildlife meat

THE Cebu City Government’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) will work with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on the kind of wildlife where the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was believed to have originated.

Once identified, Jennifer Laurente, DVMF head, said her office will proceed to monitor and check meat sold in the markets.

Laurente said Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, she is not aware that there are wild animals in Cebu City, even in the mountain barangays. But her office requires strict compliance with guidelines and would like to be sure that meat sold in the markets are documented and do not come from wildlife.

Meat without proper documents would be confiscated, Laurente added.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella agreed as he said the global scare caused by the 2019-nCoV is a reminder that no one should eat exotic food.

International health experts have said bats or snakes may be the original source of the new illness.

“This is a way for mother nature to tell us that we should not kill, butcher and slaughter these wild animals as they have their purpose on earth,” Labella said.

He urged the DENR to arrest persons who poach wild and endangered animals, as these creatures are protected under the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.

The Department of Health has listed 23 patients under investigation for the 2019-nCoV across the country. This new pneumonia-causing pathogen, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan City in central China, has killed 132 people and afflicted nearly 6,000 as of Wednesday, Jan. 29. (PAC, USJ-R Intern Mae Fhel Gom-os)