In a recent memorandum order, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol issued a temporary suspension of system accreditation for all German foreign meat establishments to export meat into the Philippines.
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Meat imports from Germany banned on ASF concerns
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines continues to secure its borders against the dreaded African swine fever after it decided to ban meat imports from Germany.

In a recent memorandum order, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol issued a temporary suspension of system accreditation for all German foreign meat establishments to export meat into the Philippines.

“This action was a result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau Animal Industry following the confiscation of a shipment of pork supposedly coming from Germany which included 250 kilograms of pork from Poland,” Piñol said.

Poland is one of the 18 countries with reported outbreak of the ASF. Germany is not included in the list, but it is contiguous with Poland.

DA-attached agencies BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service conducted a joint investigation after the Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries reported the incident to the DA.

The shipment was intercepted last week and was disposed through incineration.

“The investigation showed that a shipment of pork from Germany was intercepted by Cebu Quarantine officers after it was discovered that the shipment included 25 boxes of pork from Poland,” Piñol said.

“The German company, ProFood, admitted that it imported pork from Poland and part of the importation was shipped to the Philippines,” he said.

BAI director Ronnie Domingo said the incident of co-mingling was a serious violation which warranted the banning of all pork shipments from Germany.

The DA noted that there has been lapses in the inspection system of Germany to ensure export of safe food for the Philippine market.

Based on the memorandum order, there will be a temporary suspension of system accreditation for all German foreign meat establishments to export meat into the Philippines pending the results of the investigation of the DA.

Shipments of meat in transit upon the issuance of the memorandum order will be allowed to enter the country subject to 100 percent physical inspection.

There is also an immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance for meat from Germany.

The memorandum order was issued to prevent the entry of the virus and to protect the health of the public and the local swine population.  It is set to take effect immediately.

The Philippines has imposed a ban on imports coming from China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, North Korea, Laos, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland and Romania.

The ASF viral gene was recently detected in the confiscated Sky Dragon pork luncheon meat brought by  a returning resident from Hong Kong and seized at the Clark International Airport.

Fortunately, no ASF infections have been reported in pigs in the country to date.

ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs.

Mortality rates are high as 100 percent.

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER EMMANUEL PIñOL
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