DUMAGUETE CITY – An official of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) on Tuesday reminded suppliers and traders of live hogs in two Negros provinces that they now have to secure a certification from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) before transporting these animals to nearby Cebu.

BAI quarantine officer Alfonso Tundag said this is in compliance with the executive order issued by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia last week requiring the certificate for live hogs, boar semen, and pork products from Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental.

“Some vehicles transporting live hogs to Cebu during the weekend were reportedly denied entry and thus had to return to Negros Oriental in the absence of the certificate of shipment,” Tundag said.

Some suppliers and traders here were not informed immediately of the executive order that was signed October 13, and took effect the next day, October 14. The certificate will be required until December 12, this year.

Garcia’s order was meant to prevent the entry and spread of the African swine fever (ASF), with suspected cases reported in Iloilo and Panay, which have already been banned from shipping live hogs and pork-related products to Cebu.

Negros Oriental still remains free from the ASF as authorities here await an order from Gov. Roel Degamo to also enforce similar restrictions covering Iloilo and Panay. A previous ban is already in place for areas with reported cases of the viral disease that affects pigs, Tundag said.

Other provinces in the Central Visayas region also remain ASF-free. (PNA)