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By: Vanessa L. Almeda | Published Friday, February 21, 2020
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy explaining the ban of the entry of pork and pork related products which now includes hog feeds and breeder pigs from Luzon, Mindanao and Eastern Visayas. (Photo: Junjie Mendoza)

Hog feeds and breeder pigs from Luzon, Mindanao and Eastern Visayas are now included in the ban against the entry of live hogs, pork meat, pork-related products and by-products, and commingled pork products in Cebu.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order 8 on Thursday, February 20, expanding the ban based on Deparment of Agriculture (DA) Administrative Circular 12-2019 relating to the National Zoning and Movement Plan for African Swine Fever.

Under the zoning plan of the DA, the country was classified into zones as a means to regulate the movement of pork and pork products around the country. 

It placed areas in color-coding which will identify the extent of the ASF contagion. Dark green zone is classified as a free zone for trade, pink as buffer zone, light green for protected zone, yellow zone as surveillance zone, and red zone for infected zone.

Cebu is classified as a free zone and can trade food products like fresh, chilled, frozen, and semi-processed, canned and fully cooked pork even from an infected zone. The governor, in an earlier statement, opposed the arrangement. 

She said this arrangement will put the Province in high risk of getting infected with the virus.

"I can't see the rhyme and reason there. We have already banned fully cooked canned products but the zoning plan told us to receive fresh, chilled, frozen, and semi-processed pork products from a red zone which is categorized as an infected zone," she said.

In the DA's mapping, Luzon and Mindanao are now red zones, which means it is already ASF-infected.

EO 8 allows the entry of supply from Cebu or from ASF-free areas but requires documents such as a veterinary health certificate, shipping permit, meat inspection certificate from the National Meat Inspection Service, and certificate of meat inspection if imported from ASF-free countries.

For genetic materials coming from ASF-free countries that will go through transit points in Cebu via airports and seaports, it will require sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance and veterinary quarantine clearance. 

On Monday, February 24, the governor will meet with feed millers. (Vanessa L. Almeda)