SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique—The Provincial Veterinary (ProVet) office here has warned residents to be extra careful and solely patronize locally produced pork and pork by-products to help keep Antique safe from the African swine fever (ASF).
ProVet Public Health Division chief Dr. Marco Rafael Ardamil, in an interview on Wednesday, admitted they are encountering difficulties in monitoring and apprehending online sellers, particularly from areas with ASF cases.
The “tempting” visual presentation, especially of pork by-products such as “tocino” (cured pork) and “chorizo” (seasoned pork sausage) may be enticing but they are temporarily banned in Antique as a preventive measure, he added.
“If there are no buyers, then online sellers will not thrive. So we are appealing to Antiqueños to refrain from buying pork products from areas outside the province,” Ardamil said.
He added that since January this year, they have yet to apprehend any online seller despite efforts to locate them, including the creation of a dummy account on Facebook.
Apart from keeping a tight watch against online sellers, Ardamil said the 24/7 operation of their border checkpoints in the municipalities of Hamtic and Anini-y continues.
However, cargo inspection can only be carried out when deemed suspicious.
“Usually being inspected only are the styrofoam containers for possible pork-based food products or fresh pork,” Ardamil added.
The veterinarian added that farmers in the province enjoy a higher selling price for live-weight hogs at P170 per kilogram (kg) from P120-130 per kg in December 2022 as they still received pork meat orders from Iloilo.
Antique, Aklan, and Negros Occidental are still free from the ASF. PNA