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Poultry imports down in May
Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed that the volume of poultry meat imports declined by 23 percent from 43,000 metric tons in January to 33,000 MT in May.
AFP, file

Poultry imports down in May

Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - June 16, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government has recorded a decline in the importation of poultry meat and products which could help local raisers recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed that the volume of poultry meat imports declined by 23 percent from 43,000 metric tons in January to 33,000 MT in May.

Majority or about 70 percent of total imports was composed of mechanically deboned meat (MDM), fats, offals and rinds used by industrial processors.

MDM is used as raw material by meat processors and is not locally available.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the decline in imported poultry meat and poultry products showed that local production is sufficient to satisfy demand as the country continues to face economic and health threats from the outbreak.

“The imported poultry products are used by meat processing and manufacturing firms, and do not compete in the wet market, where our local producers bring their fresh products,” Dar said.

The lockdown implemented by the government to limit the spread of the virus has caused a downturn in the country’s socio-economic activities, including a decrease in demand of poultry products.

BAI director Ronnie Domingo said the lockdown has created tremendous trade limitations among producers, retailers, and consumers, as well as closure of local businesses, causing loss of income.

“We immediately looked into addressing the surplus in poultry supply. Aside from accredited cold storage facilities, excess meat is being stored in plug-in refrigerated vans which can be considered as food safety risk,” Domingo said.

The DA is now strengthening the system to secure the cold storage facilities and to prevent excess meat being stored in unaccredited systems.

As the regulatory arm of the DA on ensuring the safety of imported poultry products, the BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service said they are committed to exercise the full extent of the law based on their mandates to correct proven irregularities on the safety of the products that enter the country.

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