May 15, 2018
Philippine agency warns against sale of Indian buffalo meat
The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has warned local consumers that Indian buffalo meat, which was reportedly being sold in several wet markets Metro Manila, was unfit for human consumption unless it is processed.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol clarified that traders are allowed to import Indian buffalo meat only for processing purposes, BusinessMirror reported.
"We are currently investigating reports that some Indian buffalo meat are being sold in wet markets. That is illegal," Piñol was quoted as telling reporters.
"The imported carabeef [as buffalo meat is commonly called in the country] cannot be eaten and should be processed first", he stressed.
Under a DA administrative circular on the "Allocation, Importation and Utilization of Fresh Frozen Buffalo Meat from India", the sale of "fresh frozen Indian buffalo meat [IBM]" in the domestic market is prohibited.
According to the circular, "the IBM shall be solely used for meat processing, using the standards provided for in the Chapter 8.7, Article 8.7.34 of OIE-TAHC  for the inaction of viruses present in the meat".
The circular stipulates the confiscation and disposal of IBM found in the possession of unauthorized persons. It also prescribes penalties for importers and meat processors who would violate the circular.
The Philippines' buffalo meat imports in the first two months rose 84.54% to 6,974.402 tonnes from 3,779.36 tonnes during the same period last year, data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed.