DA to heighten quarantine measures against African Swine Fever

Marje Pelayo   •   November 5, 2019   •   238

MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Monday (November 4) said the Department of Agriculture (DA) is working with other government agencies in carrying out heightened quarantine procedures against African Swine Fever (ASF).

“We will continue to elevate and enhance our quarantine measures,” Dar said.

The DA is now coordinating with the Department of Health thru the Food and Drug Administration (DOH-FDA) regarding the enhanced procedures aiming at preventing further spread of the deadly pig virus.

Dar stressed that the local government units will serve as the lead quarantine officers at the local level with assistance from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) who then are the lead agencies in regulating meat products across the country.

Secretary Dar has again reminded small backyard raisers to immediately report to their respective city, municipal or provincial veterinarian any sign of disease or deaths of pigs in their area.

Likewise, he urged backyard raisers to refrain from swill feeding particularly leftover food coming from inbound airline flights, hotels, and restaurants to prevent further spread of the virus.

The Secretary noted that the ASF virus can be easily controlled and contained with the cooperation from local government, hog raisers and traders and with the strict implementation of the quarantine measures set by the department.

“There is a standard protocol implemented since Day 1,” Dar said.

“But because of the non-cooperation of some provinces, we are now elevating our quarantine measures,” he added.

In view of the ongoing outbreak, Secretary Dar meanwhile appealed to hog traders not to take advantage of the situation.

“It is a crime to sell, trade, and/or slaughter sick or dead pigs for meat or for processed pork products,” he warned.

He added that violators could face imprisonment from 6 to 12 years or fine of P100,000 to P1 million or both under the law.

NMIS asked to explain ASF-contaminated pork found in supermarket

Marje Pelayo   •   January 3, 2020

FILE PHOTO: Pork sold at a supermarket

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) demands an explanation from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) as to how African Swine Fever or ASF-contaminated pork ended up in the chillers of a supermarket in Quezon City.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar revealed that the City Veterinary Office discovered the ASF-infected meat sometime in December 2019.

“They brought samples from all the chillers and one chiller where the source came from was the only one found positive,” Dar confirmed.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) then confirmed that the said batch of pork was indeed infected with ASF virus.

Dar said the supplier, identified as North Star, was already issued with a notice of closure.

The Secretary added, however, that it is up to the Quezon City government to file charges against the said supplier.

The official calls on supermarket owners not to sell contaminated pork to prevent the spread of ASF. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Nueva Ecija culls over 500 pigs for suspected ASF

Marje Pelayo   •   December 13, 2019

NUEVA ECIJA, Philippines – The Municipal Agriculture office has culled more than 500 pigs on Friday (December 13).

This, following reports from residents in Barangay Luyos, in the town of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija that several pigs in the area died last week.

Backyard hog raisers voluntarily submitted their animals to culling in fear of African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Natakot kami na baka kami madamay (We were afraid of getting affected),” said hog raiser Rowena Liamson.

“Kaysa kami po ang magbaon, wala naman po kaming malalaking bakuran na pagbabaunan kaya nag voluntary surrender na lang po kami (So instead of burying the pigs by ourselves, we chose to voluntarily surrender them as we have no available lot space for a pit),” she explained.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will pay each hog raiser P5,000 for each culled pig so that they could at least recover from their losses.

Based on record of the Municipal Agriculture Office, they are set to depopulate around 1,200 pigs in Barangays Mariano, Julo and Luyos in the coming days.

Authorities call on residents to immediately report to them any case of pig sickness and death so they could act accordingly and eventually prevent the spread of the deadly hog disease. – MNP (With details from Danny Munar)

LTFRB reiterates ban on transport of pork, pork products through PUVs

Marje Pelayo   •   December 2, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) reiterates that all fresh, frozen, and processed pork products and by-products like sausages and are prohibited inside all public utility vehicles (PUVs) if carrier doesn’t have the needed permits.

This ban on transport of pork and pork products through common public transport such as PUVs is in line with the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across the country.

Carriers will only be allowed to transport pork products provided they presented the necessary documents at designated Animal Quarantine Checkpoints in disease outbreak areas.

According to LTFRB, violators will be fined of up to P200,000 in accordance with Republic Act 10536 otherwise known as the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines.

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