By Rey Anthony Chiu, PIA-Bohol | 10:44 PM January 25, 2021
Owing to the reported outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in nearby Leyte and Southern Leyte, Bohol bans the entry of live pigs, pork and pork-processed products. With or without proper documents, coming from said provinces.
In Executive Order No. 2 which Governor Arthur Yap signed January 15, Bohol expanded the prohibitions covered under earlier executive order numbers 7, 22 and 55 series of 2019 and executive order no. 5 series of 2020, to include now the two provinces.
Earlier executive orders prohibit the entry to Bohol of live hogs, frozen pork meat and pork related products and by-products, processed pork meat and frozen boar semen from Luzon and Mindanao.
And when earlier orders exclude those live hogs and pork or pork by-products that have national Meat Inspection Services certification or veterinary health certificate from the Bureau of Animal Industry Quarantine Services, this time, the EO is absolute on the ban from the two named provinces.
The move, according to the governor, is in response to the ASF cases in Luzon and Mindanao, as well as in the reports from the local government units and Department of Agriculture officials in Leyte that the swine disease which is most fatal to hogs, has affected some areas in the two provinces.
On this, the entry ban of pork and pork related products and by-products whether frozen, processed, cooked, canned, live hogs and frozen boar semen, with or without documents is implemented.
Late last year, and in response to the recession in live hog and pork prices due to oversupply in Bohol, hog growers have shown interest in exporting their stocks to Luzon, whose market prices for live hogs and pork overshoot normal expectations due to the effects of the hog disease in Luzon.
On this, Bohol authorities asked the governor to issue policies on transporting live hogs and pork products from Bohol.
Executive Order No. 56 series of 2020 which Gov. Arthur Yap signed on Nov. 26, 2020, lays down the guidelines in the transport of live hogs through sea vessels directly plying the Bohol to Luzon and vice versa route, and the transport of live hogs from Bohol to Luzon by land trip.
It also put in order the guidelines in the conduct of animal inspection, disinfection, issuance of veterinary health certificate and shipping permits, guidelines in the entry of feeds and raw materials to be used in the production of feeds, as well as the guidelines in the entry of empty livestock cargo vehicles to Bohol.
In 2019, the governor has issued a memorandum addressed to Bohol mayors to assign personnel to assist in the port quarantine efforts considering that Bohol has unmanned beaches that could be landing areas for smuggled hogs and pork.
The Office of Provincial Veterinarian Stella Marie Lapiz said there are over 50,000 hog growers and producers in Bohol, most of them backyard growers producing 86 percent of the total meat supply here.
“One single case of ASF in Bohol and it would have the potency to wipe out the entire hog industry, that would be devastating to the thousands of industry workers and the backyard growers whose incomes come from hog raising,” Dr. Lapiz said.