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Cebu expands ban to other meat stored with Luzon-sourced pork products

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | November 07,2019 - 06:55 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has issued another executive order expanding the coverage of Cebu’s ban on the entry of pork products to include fish, chicken and beef, which shared the same storage facility with Luzon-sourced pork products.

Garcia signed Executive Order No. 23 late night of Wednesday, November 6.

“It is hereby declared unlawful for anyone to bring into the Province of Cebu any and all kinds of meat, chicken, fish and any other kind of food product, in whatever form or quantity they may be, that have been commingled or stored in the same cold storage facility with pork and pork-related food products and by-products from Luzon,” the executive order reads.

Executive Order no. 23 is signed late Wednesday night, November 6.

The Provincial African Swine Fever (ASF) Task Force, on Tuesday, November 5, shipped back to Caloocan City and Malabon City 1.5 tons of beef products, as advised by the National Meat Inspection Services in Central Visayas (NMIS-7), as they are believed to have been stored in the same commercial cold storage with pork products.

“It was shipped back because base on the permit, its details are incomplete and there is the issue on commingling. It came from a commercial cold storage facility intermingled with pork products from Luzon,” Provincial Veterinarian Mary Rose Vincoy told CDN Digital.

Although the ASF virus could only survive with pigs and pork meat as its host, Vincoy explained that meat commingled with contaminated pork products may become a carrier of the virus.

Other meat sourced from Luzon that came from storage facilities without pork or has their own storage facility will be allowed to enter the province.

Last Monday, November 4, Garcia also announced that Cebu’s ban on Luzon-sourced pork products is extended until June 30, 2020.

Garcia made the move after news reports of more Luzon-brands testing positive for ASF.

“It does not elate me to state that… because all that we are now seeing in Luzon [is that] the ASF virus is obviously not contained and, in fact, is spreading in alarming proportions,” said Garcia.

“As Governor of the Province of Cebu, tasked with the duty to protect the province of Cebu, its inhabitants and our P11-billion hog industry, I have decided to extend the total ban on all pork and pork-related products coming not only from ASF-affected countries but coming also from Luzon until June 30, 2020,” Garcia added.

With the issuance of the EO, Vincoy said commingled meat that will be discovered upon their arrival in the ports of Cebu will be shipped back to its destination.

If they are discovered distributed in stores, the meat or meat products will be confiscated and subjected to thermal destruction. / celr

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