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Private sector backs Bukidnon hog, pork entry ban

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MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/18 February 2020) The 50-member Northern Mindanao Hog Raisers Association (Norminhog) has supported the Provincial Government of Bukidnon’s total temporary ban of the entry of hog and pork products, an official said.

Mr. Leonilo Go Jr., Norminhog Bukidnon in-charge, told BukidnonNews.Net by phone Saturday the association totally supports the LGU’s decision. He added that they will provide whatever support to help the local government prevent the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We have been coordinating with the local government for some time now,” he said. He cited that with an estimate of 500,000 sows, Bukidnon is a big industry player in Mindanao.

On September 25, 2019, after the ASF infection was confirmed in Luzon, Bukidnon Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri Jr. issued Executive Order 22 for a “temporary total ban of entry of live hogs, pork, pork products and by-products” from ASF areas in Luzon. The order specified meat products coming from Rizal, Bulacan and Quezon City.

The governor expanded the ban’s scope on October 14, 2019. Zubiri issued EO 26, expanding the scope of EO 22 to include “all other provinces throughout the country” as a “precautionary biosecurity measure for the best interest of the province of Bukidnon.”

As a result, certain businesses, such as fast food chains whose suppliers are from outside Bukidnon, could not dish out pork products on their menu.

Go said each member has contributed or pledged financial support to boost the local government’s anti-ASF operations. He noted that they printed the tarpaulin used in the newly opened quarantine checkpoints in Talakag and San Fernando towns.

He said the association is also proposing to shoulder expenses in the use of canine dogs to sniff pork products carried by travelers. However, he said, it takes time and effort to train the dogs.

Go noted that the lockdown affected his own business with a cut of 30 percent or 90 heads per week in sales.

Ms. Marissa Pinaflorida, officer in charge of Monterey Meatshop Malaybalay said since the implementation of the ban their sales dropped and they could not transport meat from their butchery in Cagayan de Oro.

She said the meat stock is now stable but noted the ban caused them to do a lot of catching up in sales. 

“A lot of consumers opted to buy chicken, instead of pork because they (were) scared,” she added.

Ms. Rosita Onda, owner of Onda’s Meatshop said she lost a lot of business opportunities because she cannot supply her clientele outside Bukidnon.

“For a long time I have been transporting my products to other towns and provinces like in the Visayas regions. Now it’s forbidden,” she added.

Ms. Onda blamed the media for the 25 percent drop in their sales of pork products.

She said wrong information from the media is “the virus of our business “ citing media reports claiming ASF that can also infect humans.

Provincial veterinarian Dr. Nancy V. Diez assured the public that Bukidnon has zero case of ASF and that pork products are safe for human consumption. She noted, however, that even if the ASF virus can’t affect humans, they opted to prohibit consumption of ASF-infected pork. (Vergel R. Dolosa/Bukidnon State University B.A. English Language intern for BukidnonNews.Net)  

Photo: Norminhog officers meet with personnel from the Provincial Veterinarian's Office in January 2020/
Courtesy of PVET Bukidnon FB account

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