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Philippines issues tight quarantine rules for African swine fever

Christian Fernsby |
All kinds of animal meat, fresh, frozen, cooked or uncooked, or canned from countries struck by African swine fever (ASF) will not be allowed in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) and other seaports, according to the guidelines released by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

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The BOQ guidelines were disseminated to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the Food and Drug Administration, which have agents posted at the Naia.

“These agencies are directed to confiscate any kind of animal meat, processed or unprocessed, cook or uncooked coming from the countries affected by the African swine fever,” said BAI-Naia Head Reynaldo Quilang.

These agencies are also being asked to closely scan all pieces of luggage coming from affected countries, such as China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine, while Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia and Moldova.

“All incoming luggage including hand-carry bags coming from the ASF affected countries will be subjected to x-ray scanning with the help of BOC,” Quilang said.

Memorandum Order 09, Series of 2019 is addressed to all veterinary quarantine personnel and related agencies at various airports and seaports across the country.

According to the guidelines, the importation of meat intended for personal or noncommercial use are allowed without permit under the following conditions:

Processed meat products including cooked and canned meat with maximum weight of 10 kilograms (kg) and sourced from countries free from ASF; Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and other Transboundary Animal Disease.

Any commodities in excess of the allowed limit of 10 kg shall be subjected for confiscation and penalties as prescribed by pertinent regulations.

Unprocessed meat products, including fresh, frozen, uncooked meat products sourced from countries free from ASF, HPAI, FMD, and other transboundary animal disease even in quantities for personal use, sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance is required.

Quilang said they will confiscate any kind of meat, processed or unprocessed, cooked or uncooked coming from the affected countries, including the brand “MaLing” from China.

He appealed to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) not to bring processed meat or canned goods like MaLing in their luggage as it will be confiscated.

“We are doing this to prevent the spread of ASF in our country, to save our farmers from the effect of African swine fever.”

Meanwhile, the BOC at the Naia confiscated some 84 kg of imported meat from Japan recently. The items were was brought into the country through the Naia without clearance and health certificate.

The meat shipment from Japan is not included in the list of banned countries for pork meat importation.

Customs-Naia district collector Mimel Talusan said they have seized some 4,496 kg of meat and meat products from January to May this year.

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