GenSan bans entry of pork, live hogs from ASF-hit areas in DavOcc

By Richelyn Gubalani

February 3, 2020, 1:37 pm

<p>Dr. Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the General Santos City Veterinary Office. <em>(File photo courtesy of the city government)</em></p>

Dr. Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the General Santos City Veterinary Office. (File photo courtesy of the city government)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The city government has banned the entry of all pork meat products and live hogs from Davao Occidental and other areas in the wake of the confirmed cases of the African swine fever (ASF).

Dr. Antonio Ephrem Marin, head of the City Veterinary Office, said Monday they have sealed off the city’s borders to prevent the entry of all pork-related products that are possibly infected with the ASF.

Marin said they have assigned additional personnel to ensure the round-the-clock monitoring of the city’s entry and exit points, especially the highways leading to localities in Davao Occidental.

“We have implemented the necessary measures to protect our swine farms here from the disease,” he assured in an interview.

On Saturday, the Department of Agriculture-Region 11 confirmed the outbreak of ASF in Davao Occidental that has reportedly resulted in the killing of some 1,000 animals.

Marin said they immediately expanded the coverage of the temporary ban on the entry of pork-related products and live animals following the confirmation last Saturday of the ASF outbreak in Don Marcelino and Malita towns in Davao Occidental.

He was referring to Executive Order (EO) 44 issued last year by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera that banned pork products from ASF-affected areas in Luzon.

The official said they are set to meet with meat traders to properly inform them of the expanded pork ban and tackle various measures to keep the area ASF-free.

Marin said meat processors, restaurants and other related establishments are also prohibited from bringing in pork products from other areas.

He also belied reports that their quarantine checkpoints in major highways are not regularly manned by their personnel.   

“Our surveillance activities have remained tight and we already confiscated a number of suspicious meat shipments since last year,” he said.

The quarantine checkpoints located at the national highway in Barangay Apopong, Tinagacan, and Mabuhay are fully operational and equipped with power sprayers, footbaths, and proper signage, he said.

Aside from EO 44, the mayor also issued two other measures to combat the spread of the ASF to the area.

EO 39 sets the implementation of various biosecurity measures while EO 40 provided for the creation of the city’s ASF task force. (PNA)