Customs monitors ports vs banned meat products amid swine flu fears

A butcher carries a newly slaughtered pig on his back for delivery at the Commonwealth Market in Manila. RAPPLER

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs said it is closely monitoring the country’s borders to prevent the entry of banned meat products amid the outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) in some countries.

The BOC said only importers with the proper clearances and permits from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Animal Industry, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others, will be allowed to bring in meat products into the county.

It added that the BOC is closely coordinating with government agencies in implementing the importation ban.

The FDA has banned the importation of pork from Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova, and Belgium, expanding a DA memorandum order last September that had banned the importation of pork from ASF-hit countries China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), African swine fever is “a severe viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs.” While humans cannot get ASF, it can have serious economic effects if it spreads among livestock.

The Philippines is currently free of African swine flu. (GMA News)


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