General Santos City, which initially banned all pork products and live hogs from Luzon, has now expanded the ban to include those coming from Davao Occidental after the province confirmed cases of the African swine fever (ASF).

On Saturday, the Department of Agriculture-Region 11 confirmed the outbreak of the dreaded swine disease in Davao Occidental.

Last year by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera issued Executive Order (EO) 44 that banned pork products from ASF-affected areas in Luzon.  Because of the recent discovery in Davao Occidental, Marin said they immediately expanded the coverage of the temporary ban on the entry of pork-related products and live animals.  Meat processors, restaurants and other related establishments are also prohibited from bringing pork products from other areas.

General Santos City Veterinary Office head Dr. Antonio Ephrem Marin said Monday they have sealed off the city’s borders and set up quarantine checkpoints in the city’s entry and exit points, especially the highways leading to localities in Davao Occidental.

City officials will meet with meat traders to discuss how to keep the city ASF-free.

Marin said the quarantine checkpoints set up by the city government are fully operational and equipped with power sprayers, footbaths, and proper signage.  (Rommel F. Lopez)