Consumers advised to look for NMIS seal before buying pork meat

UNTV News   •   September 12, 2019   •   342

MANILA, Philippines – The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) advises consumers to make sure that the pork meat they are buying has passed the agency’s safety inspection.

This goes with processed or pork-based products that are made available in local markets.

The NMIS said, whether the pork comes from commercial or backyard farms, the process of inspection remain the same before the pigs are slaughtered and sold to the public.

Pigs will not be processed at slaughterhouses without veterinary health certificate and shipping permit.

The animal will have to be checked first if it is healthy and free of abnormalities before it is slaughtered.

After the pig is slaughtered, its meat or pork will also be checked before they are sent out to public markets.

“Hindi po kinakatay sa mga katayan ang mga baboy na walang tamang dokumento, (Pigs will not be processed at slaughterhouses unless they have proper documents),” said NMIS Executive Director Reildrin Morales.

The NMIS said consumers should see the agency’s seal at market stalls and on the pork meat itself as proof of safety.

“Huwag po tayong bibili sa kung saan-saan lang kasi doon po ang nagiging problema, (Do not buy [pork] from just anywhere because that’s where the problem begins),” Morales said.

“So meron pong by visual makikita po natin ang stalls pa lang dapat dini-display na ang NMIS certificate nila (Stores should put on display their NMIS certificate as a visual indicator),” he added.

The agency also do not allow backyard raisers to slaughter their animals on their own at home.

Pigs should be transported and slaughtered at accredited slaughterhouses, the agency said.

“Hindi po dapat nagkakatay doon sa backyard slaughtering (Refrain from backyard slaughtering),” Morales called on hog raisers.

“Kasi iyan din po kasi ang magiging problema natin doon sa monitoring, (Because that would cause problem in monitoring),” he added.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is in need of 46 livestock inspectors as part of its program of preventing the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

These livestock inspectors will be deployed at disease investigation units, surveillance, animal checkpoints, quarantine stations and documentation among other units within the agency. — MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DILG to ask LGUs to lift entry ban on pork products from Luzon

Marje Pelayo   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is set to issue a memorandum circular to encourage local government units (LGUs) to lift their respective bans on entry of pork products coming from Luzon.

The LGUs imposed their own measures to prohibit the entry of pork products in their area in protection against the further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).

According to DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, the DA requested them to allow meat processors to transport their products provided that their products are properly documented, properly processed, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Incorporated (PAMPI) argued that so far, 56 provinces have existing import ban on pork and pork items from the Luzon region.

The group added that the meat processing industry would suffer P55-B loss in profit every year should the local governments not heed lifting the import ban.

PAMPI assured that its products are safe for public consumption, therefore, they are confident that they will not cause the spread of the ASF virus. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

DA increases indemnity payment for pigs culled due to ASF to P5,000

Marje Pelayo   •   October 14, 2019

Culled pigs are hauled toward a collection truck after symptoms of African Swine Fever (ASF) were detected in the Pasong Tamo village of Quezon City, Philippines, 03 October 2019. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) will now get P5,000 for each pig culled within the one-kilometer radius from ground zero where the deadly pig virus was detected.

So far, the Department of Agriculture (DA) already recorded more than 40,000 pigs culled due to ASF.

The DA is now strengthening its quarantine checkpoints in different parts of the country to stop the spread of the ASF virus.

On Friday (October 11), around 700 crates of pig products were seized in San Juanico Bridge in Tacloban City from Bulacan amounting to P1.6 million.

According to the Tacloban Veterinary Office, the products were confiscated for lack of necessary documents.

In his social media post, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Chair Secretary Manny Piñol questioned why such shipment was able to pass the quarantine checkpoints in Matnog in Sorsogon and in Northern Samar.

The DA, meanwhile, said it is conducting an investigation on the matter.

“That is something that we have to find-out kung bakit nakalusot ito (why it passed slip the quarantine checkpoints),” said DA Undersecretary Ariel Cayanan.

Meat processors, on the other hand, fear of possible loss in income of up to P55 billion if the government will not impose a more concrete system in banning the transportation of pork products.

According to the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI), their products undergo proper food treatment to eliminate the ASF virus.

“Processed meats are not carriers of ASF,” explained PAMPI Spokesperson Rex Agarrado.

“Processed meats are all processed at temperatures that kill the organism,” he added. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PCG Central Visayas to use sniffing dogs to detect pork, pork products

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2019

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Central Visayas will use sniffing dogs to detect pork and pork products in the various ports in the region.

This is in response to the executive order of the Cebu provincial government which temporarily bans live hogs, pork, and pork products in the province.

The said ban aims to protect the region from the threat of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

The PCG Central Visayas will deploy sniffing dogs in ports including a golden retriever named ‘Poochie’ who is the first pork-detecting dog. Poochie can detect frozen, raw, processed, and canned meat.

According to PCG Central Visayas Spokesperson Lt. Junior Grade Michael Encina, they want to fill the gap in the detection capability of the PCG.

“We all know for the fact that Cebu is known for lechon and it’s not only the economic side ang maaapektuhan (that will be affected) but as well as the tourism factor. So isa rin po ito sa tinitingnang anggulo ng PCG (So that is also one of the angles the PCG is looking into),” he said.

“This capability ng ating Coastguard Central Visayas is to address iyong need natin for detection ng all pork or pork-related products coming here in the province of Cebu (This capability of our Coastguard Central Visayas is to address our need to detect all pork or pork-related products coming here in the province of Cebu),” Encina added.

Meanwhile, the PCG will train 30 more dogs which will aid in detecting pork and pork products. —AAC (with reports from Gladys Toabi)

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