DA to compensate hog raisers in Antipolo City after culling operations

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 26, 2019   •   1801

Photo by Kameron Kincade/Unsplash

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will compensate the hog raisers in Barangay Cupang, Antipolo City after conducting culling operations.

Several of the small-time hog raisers complained that their pigs were culled despite being healthy.

In a statement, the DA said they directed the Bureau of Animal Industry to conduct culling operations within the 1-kilometer radius of the infected piggery to prevent the spread of disease.

There were reports in the area that there were pigs that died due to suspected disease.

The city government, meanwhile, promised they will pay P3,000 per seized hogs.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar assured that there is a protocol for every culling operation.

Dar also said the department will also provide assistance to the hog raisers aside from the cash assistance from the city government.

“After this, iyong sakit ay na-control na doon sa lugar. Bibigyan natin ng ayuda (the disease was controlled in that area. We will provide aid),” he said.

The agriculture secretary also said there is still no confirmatory laboratory test results so they will continue implementing the prevention, quarantine, and food safety measures.—AAC (with reports from Jennica Cruz)

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Hog raisers in Mindanao want quarantine wall vs ASF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Hog raisers in Mindanao are recommending the establishment of a quarantine wall to block the entry of the African Swine Fever (AFS) virus in the region.

During the first Mindanao Hog raisers Forum held in Davao City on Wednesday (Sept 18), Mindanao Development Authority chairman Manny Piñol said stakeholders are proposing that the island have its own quarantine cluster separate from other main islands in the country.

This is to protect Mindanao’s hog industry from the possible entry of pork meats and other pork products from Luzon and Visayas areas reported to have been hit by the ASF.

The areas with confirmed cases of ASF were Rizal and Bulacan.

“Recommendation of the stakeholders yesterday was to set up a quarantine wall to protect Mindanao from ASF entry. At saka wala namang masyadong problema kasi net exporter (they produce in excess) ang Mindanao ng mga meat products eh, ng pork,” he said.

Piñol, a former agriculture secretary, said if the proposal will be granted, areas with critical point of entries such as General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga and Surigao del Norte will be strictly monitored for the possible entry of meat products.

The monitoring will include international sea ports and roll-on/roll-off seacrafts.

Piñol said he has been pushing for this measure since the avian (bird) flu outbreak that previously hit parts of Luzon.

“I think every region affected as of the moment should also do that. Even Visayas should do that,” he said.

Aside from putting up a quarantine wall, Piñol said he will also sign an order to temporarily prohibit swill feeding in hog farms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Mai Bermudez)

FDA must tighten regulations on processed meat – DA

Marje Pelayo   •   September 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Regulations on processed meat such as well-loved Filipino delicacies tocino and longganisa should be tightened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

According to Agriculture Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs Ernesto Gonzales, consumers cannot be complacent on buying these processed products especially if they are not sure of the source or origin of the raw meat.

Gonzales added that it is difficult to determine if the pork meat is contaminated with African Swine Fever (ASF) once it is processed.

He added that even ‘botcha’ or double-dead pork meat can be made into meat delicacies without the consumer noticing it because of colorings and extenders used in the process.

The official said the best way to determine if the pork meat is safe for consumption is to know the source of the raw meat, and if it is certified by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

Kapag na-issue-han na ang karne from slaughterhouse ng meat inspection certificate (once meat from the slaughterhouse is issued with meat inspection certificate), definitely that meat is safe to eat,” Gonzales said.

However, the DA admitted that the government is lacking when it comes to regulations on processed meat so the coordination of the local government units (LGUs) is of utmost importance.

Iyang problema natin yung mga maliliit na food processors na gumagawa ng mga longanisa, tocino, ang regulation hindi ganoon ka-strict ( The problem with small-time food processors or makers of longanisa and tocino is that the regulation is not that strict), ” Gonzales noted.

If ever the processed meat is infected with ASF, Gonzales said, it is still safe to eat, provided that it went through the proper cooking procedure of 30 minutes under 70’C temperature. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Zubiri calls on DA, other agencies to act faster in containing ASF spread

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Monday (Sept. 16) called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other concerned government agencies to move faster in containing the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in hog farms in the country.

Zubiri made the appeal after the DA confirmed that the ASF caused the deaths of swine in several areas in Bulacan and Rizal provinces.

READ: DA, BAI confirm ASF outbreak, call on public to help prevent spread of pig disease

“Ako po ay lubos na nababahala sa pagpasok ng African Swine Fever sa ating bansa bagamat hindi pa natutukoy kung anong strain ang tumama sa ating swine population,” the senator said in a statement.

(I am very much worried over the entry of the African Swine Fever in the country although we have yet to determine the kind of strain that hit our swine population.)

Zubiri also recalled issuing a warning to agency officials about the possible spread of the swine disease during a hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture and food on the ASF in March.

He also recommended during the said hearing the implementation of tighter monitoring and security measures in the country’s sea and airports to prevent the entry of ASF into the country.

“Noong Marso 20 ng taong ito ay pinamunuan natin ang Committee hearing ng Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food kung saan kung saan sinabi ko na — that the damage and economic losses caused by the recent water crisis in some parts of Metro Manila would be incomparable to the havoc and economic losses the ASF could bring into the whole country if ever this epidemic will reach our shores. So, we must not let our guard down, this is a very serious concern,” he said.

“Hiniling din natin na kung maaari ay mag-impose ng total ban sa importation ng pork mula sa ibang bansa. Subalit nakapasok pa rin sa bansa ang ASF. Gusto ko pong malaman ano po ang nangyari? Naging maluwag ba tayo sa pagbabantay?” he added.

“Ngayong andito na sa bansa ang ASF, nais natin na mas higpitan ng DA at iba pang ahensya ng pamahalaan at ng publiko ang pagbabantay at pag-contain nito upang di na kumalat pa sa ibang probinsya o lugar sa bansa. Kailangan nating paigtingin ang bio-security ng ating mga swine farms at wag na po sanang magdala ang ating mga kababayan ng mga pork products mula sa ASF affected countries.” Zubiri further said.

The Philippines’ swine industry is the sixth biggest in the world.

According to Zubiri, most of these hog raisers are backyard growers whose losses will be devastating if the government failed to contain the spread of ASF in the country.

“Let’s save our hog industry especially the backyard raisers,” he said.

DA Secretary William Dar earlier said that the pig virus has already been contained in Barangay Pritil and Guiguinto in Bulacan as well as in several barangays in Rodriguez, San Mateo, and Antipolo in Rizal.

He also stressed that the outbreak is not affecting the entire country, thus, he appeals to the public as well as the media not to ignite fear as unverified and unvalidated reports could create irreversible damage to the country’s hog industry which is also the source of livelihood for millions of Filipinos.

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