Vendors from the Bankerohan Public Market initiated a free-pork tasting on Wednesday to ease fears of the public about the safety of meat, amid the African swine fever outbreak in three barangays here.
Personnel from the Department Agriculture XI, City Health Office, City Veterinarian’s Office, National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS), and Davao Hog Raisers Association witnessed the free-tasting of roasted pigs.
Dr. Rolando Marquez, NMIS XI enforcement head, said the activity is one way of showing that what the meat vendors are selling is safe, and all preventive measures were always undertaken before the products are sold in the market.
“With the inspections that we are conducting in the market, we are always ensuring that what they are selling are from legitimate slaughter houses. We are strictly inspecting (these meat products),” he said.
Marquez added that even before the ASF struck some areas here, there were a series of consultations and meetings with various concerned stakeholders “for it (ASF) not to reach the households.”
Meanwhile, vendors are already taking the initiative to assure consumers that what they are selling are safe.
Ronald Teves, a representative of the Davao Hog Farmers’ Association, said the sources of the meat come from their members, which means they underwent a rigorous process.
“These (sources) are the farms being monitored by the Department of Agriculture,” he said, noting that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is also inspecting their farms.
“They say that our biosecurity measures are good and the cleanliness of our farms are well-maintained,” he added.
On the other hand, Julie Agabin, City Health Office sanitary inspector, urged the meat vendors to maintain the sanitation of the Bankerohan Public Market.
“Let us all maintain the cleanliness here,” she said, adding that all vendors must acquire a health card since only 47 of them possess one based on the CHO records.
“We must not only observe cleanliness in the market, but also our way of handling the meat products, as well, she said.
Three barangays in the city were hit by the ASF, resulting in the culling of a total of 4,394 pigs, affecting around 947 farmers. Barangays Lamanan, Dominga, and Inayangan in Calinan district are now under decontamination and disinfection subject for 30 days.