ASF outbreak in PH came from China-imported meat, DA chief says

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The alarming number of outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country originated from meat that was imported from China, the Agriculture Chief William Dar said. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 5) — The alarming number of outbreaks of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country originated from meat that was imported from China, the Agriculture Chief William Dar said.

Agriculture officials found that the imported goods from China in two cargo containers that arrived in the Port of Manila two weeks ago tested positive for the disease. The items were declared as tomato paste and vermicelli but turned out to be pork products. This confirmed that the spread of the disease in the country can be traced back to China, Dar said.

‘Yung galing China na nasibat natin ay positive ng ASF also meaning itong talagang problema natin introduced ang ASF…This confirms our earlier hypothesis na galing sa ibang bansa,” he said in a press briefing on Monday.

[Translation: The products from China that we confiscated were positive with ASF also means that our problem is that ASF has been introduced…This confirms our earlier hypothesis that it came from overseas.]

He added that the food waste from these products were dumped in Rodriguez, Rizal which were then converted into swill feeds for other hogs to eat. The first outbreak was recorded in the province on July 25.

Galing ‘yung mga food wastes from hotels restaurants, even the airlines, ‘yung mga food waste nila ay dinump sa Rodriguez, Rizal at may nagkolekta ng swill feeds at pinakain sa baboy. Doon naumpisa,” he said.

[Translation: The food waste from hotels, restaurants and even airlines were dumped in Rodriguez, Rizal and someone collected the swill feeds to feed the hogs. That is were it started.]

Galing China, sinabi na namin noon pa,” he added.

[Translation: We were saying before that this came from China.]

Asked if he would encourage companies to source from local farmers instead of importing meat, Dar said the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc (PAMPI) will agree to it on a certain condition.

Papayag naman ang PAMPI basta may maraming triple A na slaughter houses kasi that will really determine kung mas mataas pa ‘yung level ng mga food safety implementation of measures,” he said.

[Translation: PAMPI will allow it as long as there are a lot of triple A slaughter houses because that will really determine the high level of food safety measure implementation.]

Dar said PAMPI only uses sources five percent of their products from local farmers while the rest are imported.

In a report sent to the OIE World Organization for Animal Health on Monday, the DA recorded 24 ASF outbreaks in the country since August 19, which led to the deaths of 177 pigs and the culling of 40,030 others.