Personnel of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) continue to tighten measures to ensure the province is free of the African Swine Fever (ASF).
On Monday, government authorities visited commercial establishments selling pork and other processed meat products in Laoag and its neighboring town of San Nicolas.
Dr. Loida Valenzuela, Provincial Veterinary Officer in Ilocos Norte, said in an interview that mall owners and giant food chains in the province are “self-regulating” the entry of pork and its by-products.
For giant food chains and grocery stores, customers are informed through signages seen in front desks that their pork menu are “temporary out of order” due to the on-going implementation of pork ban.
“We are thankful commercial establishments are self-regulating in the province. But we still continue to be vigilant as there may still be attempts to import pork meat products from countries affected by ASF,” Valenzuela said.
Last week, a total of 169 packs of Chinese sausage, special pork longganisa, tocino, tapa, and pork siomai were returned to manufacturers upon showing an executive order from Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc stating “pork ban” is still in place in the province.
Meanwhile, Valenzuela reported the PVO and the BAI are working for the accreditation of ASF-free piggeries and processed pork products manufacturers to allow the entry of “certified” pork products in the province soon.
She also reminded consumers to buy raw meat that has been certified by the National Meat Inspection Service, or NMIS, and processed pork products manufactured by trusted brands.
The pork ban in Ilocos Norte took effect last August. Authorities said it would only be lifted after the BAI had made an official declaration that the Philippines was safe from the ASF and other related diseases. (PNA)