With 3 pork brands positive for ASF, Cebu stays firm on banning pork products from Luzon
CEBU CITY, Philippines —— There will be no let-up in Cebu’s African Swine Fever Task Force monitoring and operations against pork products from Luzon and the 22 ASF-affected countries.
Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy, provincial veterinarian and the head of the task force, said the province would continue its stringent monitoring in all its border entry points especially with the Bureau of Animal Industry’s revelation that three Luzon-brand pork products tested positive of ASF virus.
“With this update nga naay nag-positive sa mga meat products, it only affirms our stand nga dili gyud ta magpasulod og coming from Luzon,” Vincoy said.
(With this update that three pork products tested positive for ASF contamination, it only affirms our stand to ban the entry of these products from Luzon.)
In a BAI report on a laboratory test on three pork products — tocino, longganiza, and hotdog — all samples have been found to have been positive for ASF virus contamination.
The Cebu provincial government has earlier stood pat on their decision to ban pork products from Luzon due to the ASF situation there. This is despite appeals from Agriculture Secretary William Dar and a directive from Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.
Año issued an unnumbered memorandum dated October 21, 2019, calling on the local government units (LGUs), who imposed a ban on the said items, to already allow the entry of the products provided that they would abide by the guidelines set therein.
Vincoy, however, said some of the guidelines set in Año’s memorandum were not consistent with the guidelines observed by meat inspectors.
The heat treatment requirement, for instance, does not guarantee to eliminate the ASF virus if it would be contracted by the meat products.
The products that tested positive for ASF, Vincoy said, were even heat-treated.
In a separate interview, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said she had already brought up the matter to Presidential Assistant Michael Lloyd Dino who, in turn, called up Año.
“Secretary Michael Dino supports my decision and my position. In fact, he has also written Secretary Año regarding protecting Cebu against the entry of the ASF virus./dbs
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