ASF task force seizes 577 kilos of meat in Bicol

LEGAZPI CITY --- Some 117 kilos of beef and pork meat, four game fowls, and eight crates of quail eggs were intercepted and confiscated by members of Task Force African Swine Fever (TD-ASF) on Tuesday (Feb. 18) morning at the Bicol Central Bus station in Naga City.

Jaime Haicon, Naga City veterinary officer, in an interview, said the confiscated meat products comprise 25 kilos of beef and 92 kilos of pork legs.

“The meat products, game fowls and quail eggs were transported through passenger bus from Metro Manila,” he said, noting that the fowls and eggs were feared to bring avian flu into the city.

After inspecting the transport documents, the TD-ASF members brought the confiscated meat and game fowls to the Bureau of Animal Industry and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) for proper disposition.

Naga has prohibited the bringing of pork meat and its by-products into the city to prevent the entry of ASF.

On Saturday, Feb. 15, a similar task force of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) had confiscated 460 kilos of processed meat products worth P102,000 coming from regions declared as ASF affected area in Luzon in two separate operations in Albay.

Personnel manning an ASF quarantine checkpoint along the Maharlika Highway in Matacon, Polangui town flagged down at around 5:10 AM Saturday a private van owned by Myrna Radaza of Legazpi City loaded with 225 kilos of processed pork meat packed in several boxes with a market value of P47,000.

The van driver, Jeffry Kim Casimiro, 19 of Oas, Albay, upon inspection, claimed that the meat products came from Metro Manila. He however failed to present documents or NMIS permit to purchase and transport the meat products.

The vehicle and the confiscated meat products were turned over to Dr. Pancho Mella of the Albay Provincial Veterinary Office for appropriate disposition.

On Friday, Feb. 14, the NMIS task force and the Legazpi City Veterinary Office (LCVO) seized 250 kilos of assorted processed meat products coming from the Ilocos region aboard a passenger bus from Metro Manila.

Dr. Emmanuel Estipona, LCVO chief said the undocumented meat products worth P55,000 were shipped from Metro Manila and consigned to a local processed meat distributor.

Estipona said the intensified quarantine checkpoints set up in this city aims to prevent the entry of ASF animals and meat products here and to make Bicol as among the remaining free ASF regions in Luzon.