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Central Visayas pork supply stable
Dr. Daniel Ventura Jr., DA’s ASF regional focal person, told The FREEMAN Wednesday the swine industry in Region 7, among the top five pork producing regions in the country, remains unaffected and that supply of pork products remains stable.
Michael Varcas

Central Visayas pork supply stable

Carlo S. Lorenciana (The Freeman) - May 30, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Pork supply in Central Visayas remains stable, an official from the Department of Agriculture said yesterday, amid threats of the African Swine Fever (ASF), which is haunting the hog industry in other countries.

Dr. Daniel Ventura Jr., DA’s ASF regional focal person, told The FREEMAN Wednesday the swine industry in Region 7, among the top five pork producing regions in the country, remains unaffected and that supply of pork products remains stable.

The hog industry is a key contributor to the region’s agricultural output.

“The country and the region remain free of the ASF,” he said in a phone interview.

Ventura noted authorities have remained alert in averting the entry of the ASF into the country.

He said the DA had been talking to commercial feed millers as part of its ASF prevention efforts.

He said feeds are being looked at as contamination route due to the possibility of contaminated raw materials coming from ASF-hit countries mixed into commercial feeds.

He added port authorities have already been cautioned as well.

Philippine Statistics Authority data showed total swine population in the country reached 13.13 million heads as of October 2018, with Central Visayas among the regions with highest swine population.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the pull out of processed pork from countries affected by the ASF. Such items will be immediately “recalled and seized” from Philippine markets to prevent contamination.

The DA and hog industry stakeholders had asked FDA to recall processed pork products, including processed luncheon meat Ma Ling, manufactured starting August 2018 from 16 ASF-affected countries namely Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

FDA, in its May 27 order, urged distributors and other dealers of processed meat products to abide by its directive.

In light with this, Ventura also urged consumers in the region to be wary of their future purchases.

The FDA also advised “to exercise extreme caution in purchasing and consuming processed pork meat products and is advised to only consume processed pork meat products which are sourced from countries other than the above listed countries suspected to be affected by ASF virus, and are registered with the FDA.”

The ASF poses no direct and immediate danger to human health. But its spread may threaten the hog industry, with major potential impact on supplies and prices.

The disease, which has no vaccine or cure, was first detected in Asia in 2018 in an area in Siberia, according to the United Nations. In December 2018, the DA said pork products from affected countries will be confiscated at the country’s points of entry to prevent its spread. (FREEMAN)

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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