December 12, 2008
Philippine government to lift pork export ban
The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) will lift the export ban on pork after ensuring that all hogs within quarantined farms in Bulacan, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija have been cleared of the Ebola Reston virus.
DA Secretary Arthur Yap gave assurance that the private sector can eventually export hog meat to countries like Singapore. It said it will seek assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) on animal bio-safety processes that will enable the country to sell hog meat to the international market.
Yap said hog raisers want to be established as responsible exporters as they are about to embark on the export market.
While explaining that the Ebola Reston virus is purely an animal concern, which means that authorities have not found evidence that the virus can be transmitted to humans, the DA decided to impose the export ban as a precautionary measure.
On Wednesday (Dec 10), the agency reported that 94 additional hogs from the contaminated farms have been tested for the Ebola virus but turned negative.