Quarantine facilities eyed vs new swine virus
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the Bureau of Animal Industry would put up the facilities this year to boost inspection on meat imports.
pna.gov.ph
Quarantine facilities eyed vs new swine virus
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - July 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government will establish quarantine facilities in major ports to ensure that goods entering the country are free from any pest or disease amid the discovery of a new strain of swine flu in China.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) would put up the facilities this year to boost inspection on meat imports.

The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (PCAFI) and United Broilers Raisers Association (UBRA)  made the recommendation after studies show that the new swine flu strain has pandemic potential.

PCAFI and UBRA expressed concern on misdeclared meat importation and the entry of more diseases if the government will not put up border facilities.

They said the lack of such facilities would also deprive the government of revenues from meat importation taxes and affect livestock and poultry sectors.

“Investment in biosecurity is a necessity and may be part of the new normal,” Dar said.

In December last year, the Department of Agriculture said P2 billion would be allocated to build integrated multi-commodity quarantine facilities to implement the quarantine first policy for any imported commodity.

The amount will cover five facilities worth P400 million each to be put up in Manila, Batangas, Bataan, Cebu and Davao.

Agriculture stakeholders have been calling for the implementation of the quarantine first policy since the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in August.

BOC beefs up inspection

As this developed, the Bureau of Customs and BAI intensified inspection of agricultural products at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“We do not allow meat and meat products to come in from other countries unless accompanied by a sanitary and phytosanitary permit or clearance from the port of origin and the BAI,” NAIA veterinary quarantine head Cristina Betita said.

Betita noted that Customs personnel intercepted 775.6 kilos of meat and related products without the needed clearances in the past six months.

The confiscated products include 268.2 kilos of pork, 106.4 kilos of beef and 298.2 kilos of poultry from ASF-hit countries. Rudy Santos

SWINE FLU
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