Hog raisers face border restrictions


Negros Occidental hog raisers are faced with the difficulty of transporting their products to Metro Manila via roll on-roll off vessel with the latest ban imposed on live pigs from Region 8, where a recent case of the African Swine Fever had been reported.

Provincia\l Veterinarian Renante Decena, said hog raisers are alarmed on restrictions implemented since Monday by the Province of Oriental Mindoro which disallowed the shipment of live pigs from Visayas and Mindanao on board vessels that pass though their port en route to Batangas.

Restrictions on shipment of live pigs due to African Swine Flu cases in Region 8 worry hog raisers in Negros Occidental. | PVO Photo

Oriental Mindoro wanted to protect their local livestock industry from infection since the ro-ro vessel also carried live pigs from Mindanao where some areas have positive ASF cases.

The Mindoro LGU cited a similar concern for shipment coming from Leyte which was lately found to also have a positive case.

Decena said a shipment of some 3,000 live pigs were sent back to Bacolod City Monday as the ro-ro that ferried them was not allowed to dock at the Calapan Port in Oriental Mindoro forcing Negros  hog raisers  to transport their live animals via a passenger vessel.

Decena claimed that another problem encountered by local hog raisers is the high mortality rate for live pig shipment since they cannot give water to the animals during travel time.

On top of this problem which resulted to huge losses, are the weather condition and the current situation of the cargo area at the North Harbor in Manila that are not conducive at all to live animals, resulting either to weight loss or death, he said.

The PVO head said the office of Gov.  Eugenio Jose Lacson is trying to negotiate with the Oriental Mindoro government to allow live pigs from the province to pass through their area since Negros, Panay and Cebu are in the green zone in the combat against ASF.

The hog raisers, Decena further said, is calling on units of the Department of Agriculture in charge of the ASF zoning to help resolve the border restrictions issue imposed by Oriental Mindoro since it is the DA that designed the zoning of ASF scenario in the country.

Decena said if the problem continues, it could affect the whole industry since Metro Manila is getting their supply of pork and pork meat products from Regions 6 and 7 and Mindanao provinces belonging to the green zone.

On Monday, Lacson issued a memorandum to all local government units in the province to ban the entry of live pigs and pork products from Region 8 because of the recent ASF case in Leyte.

Data from the PVO showed that local hog raising is a P6 billion industry comprised with more than 15,000 backyard raisers and a number of large commercial operators.

They are raising a combined total of more than 500,000 live pigs. – MML