Northern Samar warns vs. undocumented pork meat trade

TACLOBAN CITY – The Northern Samar provincial government has warned traders not to attempt to transport undocumented pork meat products from Luzon as they heightened watch at the ports against the spread of African swine fever (ASF).

Provincial information officer John Allen Berbon in a phone interview on Thursday said transporting pork meat products without a permit violates the Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 05 and defies the existing ban as ordered by Northern Samar Governor Edwin Ongchuan.

“The intensified quarantine checkpoints set up in every entry point of Northern Samar seeks to prevent the entry of infectious animal diseases in our province. We have to be watchful since all pork meat from Luzon bound for Eastern Visayas passes through Northern Samar ports,” Berbon said.

Early this year, Ongchuan ordered a temporary ban on the entry of live hogs and pork products from other provinces as a precautionary measure against ASF.

The governor reiterated his warning after the confiscation on July 5 of a shipment of frozen and processed pork meat from Luzon in the port of Allen, Northern Samar.

A joint team from the Bureau of Animal Industry Region 8 and the Provincial Veterinary Office seized 347 packs or about 240 kilograms of frozen and processed pork meat products at a checkpoint set up at the port in Allen town.

The confiscated products worth PHP80,000 were stored inside 12 boxes, loaded in a private van supposed for distribution in various parts of Eastern Visayas, according to Berbon.

He said it was found at the checkpoint that the trader has no documents or permits. The seized products were buried on the same day.

Currently, there are 32 towns and cities in Eastern Visayas affected by ASF, including the towns of Lope de Vega, Catarman, and Mondragon in Northern Samar.

The latest ASF-hit areas are Ormoc City and Tabango town in Leyte province. (PNA)

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