January 7, 2019
Philippines bans pork from 13 countries over African swine fever fears
Pork and pork-based products from 13 countries have been banned from entering the Philippines as a precaution against the spread of African swine fever (ASF), the country's Department of Agriculture said.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel said pork and pork products from Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine and Zambia arriving at the Philippines' entry points will be confiscated and destroyed within 24 hours, according to local news reports.
Stepping up measures against the ASF threat, Piñol ordered that foot baths be installed in entry points including ports where cruise ships dock.
Foot baths, which have disinfectants, would ensure that people do not enter with contaminated material on their shoes.
Piñol said the Bureau of Customs was also directed to conduct "rigid inspection for the checked-in and hand-carried luggages of all incoming passengers from ASF-affected countries".
Meanwhile, Piñol relieved on Friday, Jan. 4, the whole quarantine group at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for what he said in a Facebook post was its "failure to comply with an earlier order I issued to institute Quarantine protocols to prevent the entry of pork products from areas affected by the African Swine Fever".
Hog raisers also appealed to the government to implement stringent measures to prevent the entry into the country of ASF.
"We understand how difficult it is for our officials especially as an archipelagic country, we have several entry points. We really need to put countermeasures in place because once ASF enters the country, the industry will find it hard to recover", National Federation of Hog Farmers president Chester Warren Tan said.
The ASF has spread to parts of Europe and Asia including China, where it confirmed its first case in August 2018. China has reported over 90 cases of ASF since August, according to a Reuters report in late December.