December 3, 2019
Philippines agriculture official assures adequate local supply of pork
The Philippines' Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary, William Dar ,has declared Pangasinan pork and pork products free of the African swine fever (ASF) after some hogs in the province were earlier tested positive for ASF.
"For Pangasinan, the feedback I got is that there is no outbreak," he said during his visit to the province on December 1 as he attended Urdaneta City's fiesta and the lechon (roasted pig) festival in Rosales town.
Some hogs from the towns of Mapandan and Bayambang have tested positive for ASF in the past months. However, the DA, along with the local government units and other government agencies, have worked together to prevent further spread of the virus.
"It is safe to consume pork and processed pork products (from Pangasinan)," Dar said.
He also assured that there is an adequate supply of pork this holiday season since only 1% of the total population of hogs in the country was affected by ASF.
"Do not worry about supply this Christmas season, we have enough supply. In fact, our hog raisers have over production. The hog industry is a P260-billion (US$5.1 billion) industry, and everybody must work together to protect it," Dar said.
Region 3 (Central Luzon) was the most devastated by ASF virus with Bulacan and Pampanga still being monitored to prevent spread of the virus, he said.
"The threat is still there thus; we have to elevate our quarantine system. We continue to implement and observe the 1-7-10 protocol," he added.
Under the 1-7-10 protocol, the government culls all pigs within a one-kilometer radius of the affected farm, while the movement of pork and pork products within seven kilometers is limited. It also conducts surveillance and monitoring within a 10-kilometer radius.
Dar commended the National Hog Raisers Association, including its federation, for immediately coordinating and helping DA address the problem on ASF.
Meanwhile, he urged citizens to remain vigilant and report to authorities if ASF-related problems arise.
"I ask the hog raisers especially the hog traders not to buy hogs that are sick. If you buy ASF-infected hogs and slaughter it, this will spread the virus," Dar said.
He added that meat processors are also asking help from the DA as they want to trade their processed products to the different provinces.
"There are provinces which tightened their guard (at the entry points) because of their negative experience from one processor," he said.
- Philippine News Agency