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HomeBreaking NewsMandatory inspection of ships with meat from ASF-hit nations ordered in Mindanao

Mandatory inspection of ships with meat from ASF-hit nations ordered in Mindanao

Agriculture secretary William Dar

Vessels carrying meat products from countries with confirmed cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) will have to go through mandatory inspection when they call at Mindanao ports, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in DA Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 03-2020, also directed the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and other concerned agencies under DA to establish 24/7 checkpoints with disinfection equipment and facilities, including foot baths, at all entry points in Mindanao.

“There will be a mandatory inspection of vessels docking in Mindanao ports with meat products from ASF-affected zones and countries,” Dar said.

He said these are among the measures DA is implementing after ASF contamination in Mindanao was confirmed.

The establishment of 24/7 quarantine checkpoints and mandatory inspection at international and domestic seaports and airports in the region will be done in close coordination with local government units (LGUs), Bureau of Customs, and Philippine Ports Authority.

Checked-in and hand-carried luggage of all incoming passengers from ASF-affected zones and countries will be thoroughly inspected by BAI veterinary quarantine personnel, who will confiscate and immediately destroy all contaminated pork products.

DA has banned the importation of pork and pork-based products from ASF-affected countries. The Food and Drug Administration also temporarily banned the importation, distribution, and sale of all processed pork meat products from Hong Kong, North Korea, Laos, Germany, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova, and Belgium.

About 95% of the pork supply in the Philippines is locally sourced, and while the ASF virus does not pose any health risks to humans, there is no known vaccine to prevent it from spreading to the local livestock production and destroying the industry.

DA also plans to establish designated cold examination areas for meat and agricultural imports in five major ports in the country to stop the smuggling of agricultural products and to heed calls from stakeholders for strict regulation of food imports after ASF spread in Luzon, affecting local pig farmers and the domestic supply in some areas.

Photo courtesy of DA

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