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Pork meat products in GenSan 'safe, disease-free'

by Allen Estabillo
August 31, 2019

GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- The city government assured on Thursday that pork meat products sold in the local markets are safe and free from diseases in the wake of the outbreak of an undisclosed hog disease in Rizal province.

Dr. Antonio Marin, head of the City Veterinary Office, said all pork meat products distributed in the city are sourced from local commercial and backyard farms, which remain free from major diseases.

Marin said it was highly unlikely for the hog disease that affected farms in Rodriguez, Rizal to reach the city since local producers do not source their pork meat and live animals from Luzon.

"We're the ones shipping out pork and live hogs so I think we're safe on that aspect," he said in a radio interview.

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The official said they have been continuously coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other concerned agencies to prevent the entry of animal diseases in the area, especially the dreaded African swine fever (ASF).

DA already declared that the outbreak in Rizal was not caused by ASF, which has affected a number of countries in Asia and Europe.

Marin they are closely monitoring the slaughterhouses and backyard farms for any incidence of animal disease.

"We have not monitored any increase in mortality (among hogs) so far," he said.

Marin reiterated that they have sustained their intensified border control operations in partnership with the Bureau of Animal Industry-Veterinary Quarantine Service.

The city and South Cotabato province are considered as the center of the swine industry of Region 12 (Soccskargen), reportedly the third largest producer in the country.

The region’s swine inventory is projected to reach 816,580 heads this year, up from the 764,853 heads last year.

Some 467,932 heads are from backyard raisers and 348,648 heads from commercial raisers. (PNA)

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