NMIS asked to explain ASF-contaminated pork found in supermarket

Marje Pelayo   •   January 3, 2020   •   749

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)

DA Bicol confirms positive cases of African Swine Fever in CamSur

Marje Pelayo   •   February 21, 2020

BICOL, Philippines – Tests on organ samples collected from dead pigs in a barangay in Bombon, Camarines Sur revealed contamination of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Director Rodel Tornilla in a statement on Thursday (February 20) confirmed that swine mortality in Barangay Sto. Domingo in Bombon was caused by the deadly pig virus.

Tornilla assured that the DA and the local government of Bombon are implementing measures to manage, contain and control the pig disease.

The most recent incident of swine mortality due to ASF was reported in Davao Occidental and Davao City.

READ: DA to probe how ASF reached Davao Occidental

BAI warns pork dishes may spread African Swine Fever

Marje Pelayo   •   February 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) expressed concern that African Swine Fever (ASF) has already reached even remote barangays in the country.

BAI suspects that the ASF virus that reached Davao Occidental may have been brought through “pasalubongs” of food gifts in the form of processed pork or pork dishes prepared during the holidays last December.

Likewise, food leftovers or swills from these gatherings may have been contaminated by ASF.

Kasama sa mga pasalubong na iyan mga processed na karne na maaring nanggaling doon sa lugar na may African Swine Fever (Among these food gifts may have been processed meat from areas infected by African Swine Fever),” Domingo said.

Siguro iyong mga tira-tirang pagkain ay naipakain sa mga alagang baboy. After several weeks lumitaw na iyong sakit sa mga lugar na hindi natin inaasahan (Leftover foods may have been fed to pigs. After several weeks, the virus emerged in areas we did not expect to be infected),” he added.

Domingo said it would be difficult to detect such food items at checkpoints especially if they were skillfully concealed in bags and containers.

Ang problema natin kapag ang byahero ay inilagay niya sa personal bag niya na maliit iyong karne o kaya sa private vehicle (One problem is when a traveler places the pork dish inside his or her personal bag inside a private vehicle),” Domingo noted.

O kaya ang may dala-dala ng paninda, ang bag, hindi naman pinapara iyan sa mga checkpoint (Or the pork meat were concealed inside a bag, they are not flagged down in checkpoints),” he added.

The official calls on the public to ensure that they are purchasing pork meat and pork-based products with certification from proper authorities such as the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

Disinfection efforts, meanwhile, are ongoing on transporting vehicles at BAI checkpoints in the country.

BAI already accounted about 230,000 pigs that were culled and have died due to ASF but only 20% of this was directly infected by ASF. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

China warns of sustained virus impact on poultry, eggs supply amid rising death toll

UNTV News   •   February 18, 2020

China’s supply of poultry and egg products is likely to be hit in the second and third quarters as the coronavirus outbreak has had a severe impact on the industry, agriculture ministry official Yang Zhenhai told a State Council briefing on Tuesday (February 18).

The world’s second-largest poultry producer, China had been ramping up output to fill a meat shortage after the African swine fever epidemic, which began in 2018, decimated its pig herd.

Poultry prices have plunged this year and restrictions on moving livestock and extended holidays in many areas have paralyzed the supply chain. Farmers have been left with large inventories of birds and eggs even as demand plunged as restaurants and canteens stay shut.

Yang said that since the coronavirus outbreak, which has led to more than 1,800 deaths, live poultry markets have been closed, transportation of baby poultry and live poultry has been curtailed and slaughterhouses have been shut down. (Reuters)

(Production: Wang Shubing, Thomas Suen)

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