MINDANAO Development Authority chairman Emmanuel Piñol called on local governments to issue executive orders prohibiting entry of pork into their political territories and swill feeding by backyard hog raisers.
Following a series of consultations with stakeholders of the Mindanao hogs industry, Piñol said local chief executives should seriously confront the threat of African swine fever by issuing an executive order preventing entry of live hogs, pork and processed meats in Mindanao.
“I call on all mayors and governors to issue an executive order to prevent entry of the African swine fever in Mindanao,” Piñol said.
He said “the move to ban entry of live hogs and pork products should not be seen as trade issue that impedes free flow of food but a temporary pro-active action to address a serious quarantine concern.
“This is intended to protect the multi-billion worth hog industry which provides income and livelihood to thousands of farming families” he said.
In a meeting with representatives of Mindanao hog raisers in Davao on Tuesday, Piñol and the group discussed the proposal to turn Mindanao as a special quarantine zone indicating Mindanao as ASF free, yet needing the necessary organizational mechanisms to maintain the status.
Davao Hog Raisers Association president Eduardo So said, “We hope mechanisms to be in place and quarantine officials immediately deployed in entry points like ports and airports, following issuance of the executive order the soonest time.”
Meantime, the group considers swill feeding as a form of threat for the entry of ASF.
Swill feeding is the practice of feeding hogs food wastes from hotels, restaurants, airlines and docked ships, which may contain infected meat. The prohibition on swill feeding can be exercised by the powers of the local executives, Piñol said.
“The governors and mayors are in better position to stop swill feeding, the local governments can issue ban of hogs import and prohibition of swill feeding altogether through an executive order, with stiffer penalties for deterrence,” Piñol said. (Minda)