The ban on pork from Luzon in Cebu because of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak has been expanded to cover chicken, fish, and all kinds of meat products that were stored in the same facility as pork, pork products and by-products from Luzon.
The ban, which was supposed to end on December 28, 2019, has also been extended until June 30, 2020 based on Executive Order No. 23 issued by Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia.
This new directive, issued on November 6, 2019 and effective immediately, amended Executive Order No. 14 which the governor issued on August 22, 2019. Two more directives, EO No. 15 and 16, implemented a total ban.
Because of the ban on pork and pork products in Luzon, fast-food outlets in Cebu that get its pork supply from Manila have run out of pork and have been unable to serve pork-based dishes.
Chowking, for instance, has not been able to serve its Pork Chao Fan and pork siomai. Shakey’s is unable to serve pizzas with pork products and byproducts. Starbucks does not have sandwiches with pork products. Pancake House could no longer serve its adobo and other dishes with pork.
Garcia’s new directive states that the “entry of all meat, chicken, fish, or any other food products that have been commingled with pork, pork-related products, and by-products from all parts of Luzon” is prohibited.
The directive states that the National Meat Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the ASF virus can spread through commingling of meat, fish, chicken, processed meat products and other food products with contaminated pork, processed pork, pork-related products, and by-products.
Direct importation of all kinds of meat from ASF-free countries will be allowed if a Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance or Veterinary Quarantine Clearance/SPS Import Permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry is presented.
All shipments of imported meat that passed through any port in Luzon will be prohibited entry in Cebu “unless the seal of the container van of meat and meat products carrying or transporting the same remains intact and untampered”.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has warned that the ASF poses an upside risk to inflation and stressed the need to control the spread of the disease.
So far, ASF cases have been reported in 22 areas in the provinces of Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Cavite, as well as in Quezon City, according to a situation update by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The same report said around 62,000 pigs have been culled since the first ASF case was confirmed by the Department of Agriculture on July 25, 2019.
The outbreak has prompted more than 60 other local government units to ban shipments of live hogs, pork and pork-based products from Luzon. (Ventures Cebu)