DA bans pork imports from Indonesia; allows entry of meat products from US, Germany

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has temporarily banned the importation of domestic and wild pigs and its products from Indonesia in a bid to control the spread of African swine fever.

The Department of Agriculture issued a ban after Indonesia confirmed outbreaks of the disease.

Based on the report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health, there were outbreaks of ASF in Sumatera Utara province affecting swines.

ASF is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs. Mortality rates are high as 100 percent.

The disease, however, is not transferrable to humans.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar issued an immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance of pork products.

Dar said pork products brought in by passengers from Indonesia would be confiscated.

The memorandum order was issued to prevent the further spread of the virus to protect the health of the public and the local swine population.

Import ban is still in effect for more than 20 countries infected with the dreaded disease.

The outbreaks started as early as September 2019, but was only confirmed in November last year.

Indonesia is the seventh country in the ASEAN region to be hit by the hog disease.

In the Philippines, latest data showed that affected areas with ASF reached 612 barangays in 73 municipalities in the nine provinces infected namely Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Tarlac, Rizal, Cavite, Pangasinan, and parts of Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is allowing the entry of meat exports from Germany and the US following compliance with quarantine and meat inspection systems procedures.

Germany will bring in beef and poultry meat, while the US will ship pork and beef.

The two countries have also complied with the requirements of the World Organization for Animal Health.

According to the DA, the source of meat for export shall be from animals born and raised in Germany and must not contain residues of antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, heavy metals, radioactivity and similar substances that may pose public health and environmental hazards.

For Germany, commodities approved for export include fresh or chilled beef carcasses, offals, tongues, livers, fresh or chilled poultry meat, wings, thighs, mechanically deboned meat, turkey meat, and duck meat.

For the US, approved commodities are fresh or chilled beef carcasses, offals, tongues, livers, fresh or chilled pork carcasses, and hams.

The accreditation of both countries is valid until Nov. 12, 2022.

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