The city’s Task Force (TF) Karne and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) yesterday continued its weekly strike operations around the city relative to the national temporary ban on the importation, distribution and sale of all processed pork products from countries suspected to be affected by the African swine fever (ASF) virus.
Yesterday’s operations, the fourth to be performed since June 13, yielded zero confiscations which could be indicative of the business sector’s compliance until the FDA and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) central offices lift the embargo.
Still, the joint forces of TF Karne and FDA shall continue its surveillance, monitoring and inspection activities to no ASF-infected pork products are imported, distributed and sold in Zamboanga City.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health, the African swine fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar and American wild pigs. The virus is transmitted by direct contact, ingestion of garbage/swill feeds containing unprocessed infected pig meat or pig meat products, ticks and biting flies, and contaminated premises, vehicles, equipment and clothing.
While ASF is not a human health threat, FDA is firm in enforcing the temporary ban on imported processed pork products. Together with TF Karne, the agency will continue conducting strike operations on all covered establishments to ensure all processed pork products coming from suspected ASF-affected countries are pulled out from their shelves in order to protect the swine population in the Philippines.
The countries of interest include China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova, Belgium, Hongkong, North Korea, and Laos. (Claudine Uniana)