CAMIGUIN , Philippines – The province already implemented a stringent regulation of the entry of pigs, pork meat, and its byproducts into the island long before the African Swine Fever (ASF) struck some parts of Luzon, the governor said Sunday(Oct. 20).
Camiguin Gov. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo said that prior to the report that ASF has reached the country, the provincial government only allowed livestock and meat products into Camiguin with permit from the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).
Following the spread of the ASF in Luzon, Romualdo said they beefed up their monitoring and enforcement of the ban on hogs and pork products that do not have BAI clearance.
Camiguin is among the provinces in Northern Mindanao that implemented the ban on pigs and pork especially coming from Luzon.
Local chief executives of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City were among the areas in Mindanao that issued the ban order right after ASF swept through some towns in Luzon.
“We have been doing it for a long time. Since we are an island, we had much control of the products coming in,” the governor told reporters during the opening of the “Ugmad” agro-fair, one of the attractions of the island’s 40th Lanzones Festival, in Mambajao, on Sunday.
“As soon as you step at our port, you pass through a foot bath and we had our provincial veterinary office inspecting meat and poultry coming it,” Romualdo added.
Considering that the province is a prime tourist destination, he said they have to ensure that the island’s food supply — especially those coming from mainland Mindanao and other parts of the country — are safe for human consumption.
The move to ban meat products that do not have the BAI’s stamp of approval is also to protect Camiguin’s locally raised livestock from getting infected with ASF, he said.
Even plants that are brought in from outside the island are required to have permit from the agriculture department, Romualdo said.
In fact, he said, the provincial government rejected the entry of 150 seedlings of “Camlong,” a hybrid variety of the lanzones fruit as these might be carrying plant diseases that could infect the island’s thousands of lanzones trees, which is considered as the sweetest in the country due to the province’s volcanic soil.
During the opening of “Ugmad,” officials, locals and tourists were invited to partake of the 500 kilos of lanzones laid out on a long table for everyone to eat.(davaotoday.com)