SEIZED HOT MEAT None of P500M worth of ‘mishandled meat’ comes from ASF-countries

The National Meat Inspection Service 11 (NMIS-11) has confiscated almost half a million pesos worth of hot meat, including undocumented and mishandled meats, during the second half of 2018 in the region. However, none of it comes from African Swine Flu (ASF)-infected countries since the outbreak began in December last year.

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs, which is responsible for serious economic and production losses.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently issued a memorandum, temporarily banning all importation of domestic and wild pigs and their products including pork meat and semen originating from ASF-affected countries, such as Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and China.

NMIS enforcement section head Julio Sobrepena said on Saturday that all pork meats being sold in the market here are guaranteed ASF-free.

He said that NMIS11 is closely coordinating with other agencies such as the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Animal Industry-National Veterinary Service, and the City Veterinarian’s Office, to ensure that no pork meat coming from ASF-affected countries will enter the local market.

“Since the outbreak was declared, confiscations were being made in Manila. Our office here will continuously monitor all meats being sold in Davao markets and see to it that meat products will have a Meat and Meat Products Inspection Certificate (MMPIC),” Sobrepena said in a phone interview.

Sobrepena said NMIS11 had intensified its enforcement activities in the region since July 2018, through the Task Force Bantay Karne.

He said that, as of January 8, 2018, NMIS had confiscated 36 kilograms (kgs) of mishandled dressed chicken and 187.6 kgs of imported meat at the Tagum Public Market.