The Provincial Veterinary Office of Ilocos Norte appealed to online sellers to cooperate with local authorities to keep the province free from African swine fever (ASF).
Provincial veterinarian, Dr. Loida Valenzuela, on Friday said online meat selling is seen as the culprit for the spread of ASF based on new outbreaks, which were recorded after community quarantine protocols were relaxed.
“Ilocos Norte needs the full cooperation of everyone. Online sellers trying to bring in pork, please, I beg for your cooperation. Let us keep Ilocos Norte free of ASF,” Valenzuela said in a statement.
This came after local authorities intercepted undocumented pork products at a quarantine checkpoint in Badoc town earlier this week.
Valenzuela said only pork products coming from ASF-free areas would be allowed entry in the province.
Transporters must present a veterinary health certificate, shipping permit and certificate of laboratory issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry, veterinary quarantine clearance, compliance as a breeder, and sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance.
With the recent detection of ASF in the Visayas region, Valenzuela said there is a need to intensify the strict monitoring and implementation of all related laws.
While urging everyone to stay vigilant against the spread of the disease, members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan are also working on the passage of Draft Provincial Ordinance No. 2020-12-046 which aims to prevent the entry of ASF and stabilize hog and pork prices in Ilocos Norte.
The measure is due for the third and final reading on Monday.
Provincial Board Member Domingo Ambrocio, chair of the committee on agriculture, said the province remains under the “protected zone” because of people’s vigilance and cooperation with government authorities. (PNA)