Confiscated siomai from Rizal negative for ASF but…

ILOILO City – Laboratory examination of pork siomais from Rizal province confiscated here recently showed these did not have the African swine fever (ASF) virus.

The examination was conducted in Manila and the results were released by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 6 on Nov. 11, said Dr. Tomas Forteza, chief of the City Veterinary Office.

Eleven packs of pork siomai from Antipolo City in ASF-hit Rizal province were confiscated at the Iloilo Terminal Market, popularly known as “Super” on Oct. 30, by personnel of the city government’s Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).  Four packs of these were analysed at the Food and Drug Administration laboratory.

The negative test result, however, should not mean Ilonggos could now let their guard down, said Fortaleza.

“The more we should be vigilant in guarding our ports of entry. Just this morning in Negros local authorities confiscated 150 kilos of meat and meat products from ASF-hit areas,” said Forteza.

A type of Chinese dumpling, the filling of siomai is often ground pork, beef, shrimp, among others, combined with extenders like garlic, green peas, carrots and the like which is then wrapped in wonton wrappers.  It is commonly steamed, with a popular variant being fried resulting in a crisp exterior.

Mayor Jerry Treñas welcomed the siomai laboratory test result.

“This is a good news,” he said.

Treñas last month issued an executive order banning all meat and meat products from areas hit by ASF.

But still, the city mayor emphasized that the city should not be complacent.

“In Spain, it took them 10 years to eradicate the problem so kinahanglan gid kita magsige bantay. We protect our swine industry,” said Treñas.

ASF causes high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages, and death among domestic and wild pigs. It does not pose a health risk to humans but is devastating to hogs.

The Regional Agri-Fishery Council recently recommended to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Western Visayas to press local government units into passing ordinances temporarily banning “the crossing of live pigs among provinces and cities in Region 6 while there is a threat of ASF.”

To regulate the transport of meat, the Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Animal Industry set requirements that must be met via Administrative Order (AO) No. 4. These are the following:

* veterinary health certificate (VHC) and veterinary shipping permit

* livestock handler’s permit

* livestock and poultry transport / carrier certificate

* certificate of vehicle registration

* disinfection clearance

* farm registration

AO No. 4 also bans meat and its byproducts from countries with ASF (Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Belgium, Bulgaria, Moldova, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, South Korea, and China)./PN


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