Philippines temporarily bans importation of live cattle, meat products

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star
Philippines temporarily bans importation of live cattle, meat products
Customers shop for pork meat in Marikina Public Market on March 14, 2023.
STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has temporarily banned the importation of live cattle and its meat products from Brazil, the country’s top source of beef last year.

In its latest memorandum order, the Department of Agriculture (DA) implemented a temporary ban on the importation of live animals, meat and meat by-products, including bovine processed animal protein and semen, derived from cattle from Brazil.

Based on the report to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) last Jan. 18, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture said there was an outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy — more commonly known as mad cow disease — in Marabá, Pará affecting domestic cattle.

BSE may pose a risk to consumers due to BSE’s assumed link with the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans.

With the order, only those products slaughtered or produced on or before Dec. 18, 2022 may enter the country.

“More rigorous and tight inspection on all arrivals of meat and meat by-products derived from cattle, including live animals and bovine processed animal proteins by DA Veterinary Quarantine Officers assigned at ports of entry,” the DA said.

Based on data from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Brazil was the country’s top source of imported beef products last year.

Of the total 158.71 million kilos of beef imported last year, 37 percent was shipped for the South American country.

In the first two months of the year, Brazil was the second top source of beef products, accounting for 30.6 percent of the total imports.

Australia is currently the top source of imported beef, cornering 34.7 percent of the total.

Earlier this year, the DA also imposed a temporary ban on live cattle and its meat products importation from Spain and the Netherlands.

Last year, the country imported 4.85 million kilos of beef from the Netherlands, accounting for 2.6 percent of the total shipments.

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