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

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 9, 2019   •   384

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)

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)

Davao City bans entry of hogs, pork products from Luzon, neighboring provinces

Robie de Guzman   •   February 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Davao has announced that it is banning the entry of live hogs and pork products from Luzon, Davao Occidental, and several areas in Davao del Sur amid the threat of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Mayor Sara Duterte said the ban, which took effect last Monday, February 3, aims to prevent the spread of the swine disease and further protect the local hog industry.

“We do not eat pork that is contaminated with ASF. Although it does not affect humans, it is not also fit for human consumption,” she said.

The move follows reports on cases of ASF infection in two barangays in Davao City – Dominga and Lamanan in Calinan District.

Local authorities said culling operations for the 2,500 pigs in the said areas have already started to prevent the disease from spreading to nearby villages.

The first case of ASF in Mindanao was reported in Don Marcelino town in Davao Occidental in January, several months after an outbreak was declared in Luzon.

Duterte assured that the local government has set aside a P20 million fund to aid hog raisers affected by the ASF.

“We will check, inspect and conduct depopulation if ASF is positive and pay for your pig and piglets. Thereafter you cannot grow pigs for the next 3 months,” she said.

The mayor added that quarantine checkpoints had been set up in the city’s entry and exit points.

She also called on local pig farmers to immediately report to the city’s veterinary office should their hogs show signs of ASF, which include high fever, decreased appetite, heavy discharge from eyes and nose, and red or blotchy skin lesions. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marisol Montaño)

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