THE Department of Agriculture (DA) ordered a temporary ban on importation of domestic and wild pigs including pork meat and semen from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa and Zambia due to reported cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).
There will also be an immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of application, and issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) import clearance to the mentioned commodities, under the order.
The DA also stated in its order that there should be a stoppage and confiscation of all shipments of the mentioned commodities into the Philippines by all DA Veterinary Quarantine Officers/Inspectors at all major ports.
Frozen pork meats from Belgium with slaughter or process date on or before August 25 are allowed to enter the Philippines subject to veterinary quarantine rules and regulations, the DA said.
In August, the DA has already ordered the banning of importation of pigs and their products from Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and China due to ASF.
According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the top 5 major exporters of pork to the Philippines are Germany, Spain, Canada, United States, and France, with an individual share of 24.95%, 19.20%, 11.62%, 9.75%, and 9.13%, respectively.
Other sources of pork are Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Austria and Italy, amounting to a consolidated 25.35% exports to the Philippines.
The BAI recorded a 10.65% increase in pork importation from 276,066,999 kilograms in 2016 to 305,479,806 kilograms in 2017. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio