Customs seizes African swine fever-infected pork from China
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Saturday, January 25, ordered the destruction of pork products imported from China that tested positive for African swine fever (ASF).
The BOC said that a shipment of Peking ducks and several misdeclared items consigned to Dynamic M Int’l Trading Inc. arrived December 11, 2019. Upon examination of the shipments contents on Wednesday, January 22, the products were found to be contaminated by ASF, a highly contagious viral disease that affected pigs, warthogs, and boars. Though humans cannot get sick from the virus, humans can become carriers. (READ: FAST FACTS: What is African swine fever?)
All of the container’s contents were to be destroyed and buried at the importer’s warehouse compound after disposal plans were finalized, the BOC said in a statement.
BOC said in a Saturday statement that an alert order has been issued for other shipments consigned to the same company, whose warehouse is in Kawit, Cavite. The BOC added that a case will be filed against the company and that its brokers’ licenses will be recommended for revocation.
“Given the circumstances (Wuhan coronavirus) we have today, every entry point in the country must be on its toes to stop any viruses or bacteria from getting to our shores. Our mandate is to protect our people and that’s what we intend to do,” BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.
“This is a message to all importers. We are not going to tolerate misdeclared goods or the importation of food products that will put our industries in jeopardy. Our ports are not open for more of these products,” Guerrero also said.
The BOC has been closely monitoring Manila ports for meat and seafood products. In December, over 130 cargoes of frozen seafood products were seized by the BOC after consignees failed to secure proper importation permits.
Global meat production has declined after an outbreak of ASF in many parts of the world. In October last year, at least 13 provinces in the Philippines declared an ASF outbreak, prompting local governments to prohibit the selling of pork in markets and restaurants. – Rappler.com