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Government bans pork imports from 6 countries

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Government bans pork imports from 6 countries
A vendor arranges slices of pork at his stall in Kamuning, Quezon City.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild pigs and their products from China, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine following outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF).

Based on the report submitted to the World Organization for Animal Health, there were outbreaks of ASF virus in the six countries that affect domestic and wild pigs.

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

In a recent memorandum that took effect immediately, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol issued an immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance to these commodities.

Piñol said there will be stoppage and confiscation of all shipments of the commodities into the Philippines by all DA veterinary quarantine officers at all major ports.

There will also be confiscation of meat and their products brought in by arriving passengers from the affected countries.

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

The DA is set to hold a stakeholders’ meeting today with the livestock industry to ensure enough supply for the coming holiday season.

“As of now, our supply is stable but as always, once ‘ber’ months come in, the pressure in the market is always there,” Piñol said.

“That is why we will talk about our current stock supply, if we can really provide for the needs of the market during ‘ber’ months. And if not, what the options (are), if they will allow importation to back up our supply requirement,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a separate order, Piñol also prohibited the use of catering food wastes and leftovers from international and domestic airports and seaports for swill feeding of local swine throughout the country.

The Veterinary Quarantine Officers assigned at various stations were directed to monitor and make sure that the airports and seaports both domestic and international follow the proper disinfection and disposal of catering food wastes and leftovers including garbage.

The Bureau of Animal Industry, through its National Veterinary Quarantine Service Division, is mandated to set up a quarantine inspection system relative to inter-regional and international movement of animals and animal products in order to prevent the entry of exotic diseases and the spread of endemic diseases in the country, including ASF and foot and mouth disease.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WORLD ORGANIZATION FOR ANIMAL HEALTH
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