IN THE wake of the temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild pigs in the country, officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) urged the public to buy local meat and help boost the local hog industry.
Dr. Imee Dante Occena, Bureau of Animal Industry-National Veterinary Quarantine Services (BAI-NVQS) veterinarian, assured the public that the local meat is safe from any diseases.
The Department of Agriculture has banned the entry of domestic and wild pigs and pork-based products originating from African Swine Fever (ASF)-hit countries Belgium, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
Occena said pork from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa and Zambia are also banned.
Since September last year, the DA has alerted veterinary quarantine personnel in the international airports and seaports, including backdoor entry points.
In December 2018, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol ordered quarantine measures, including the installation of foot baths, in airports and sea ports.
"Our hog industry is worth P260 billion, so imagine how much of a loss it will be for the people working in this industry, especially that ASF has 100 percent mortality rate," Occena said.
National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) Regional Director Angelita Barcelona meanwhile advised local pig growers to report immediately if they monitor their pigs getting sick.
According to the DA, the ASF is not a human health threat but a viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs of all ages.
Pigs with ASF have the following symptoms: high fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, respiratory distress, hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs, death which follows between 2-10 days on the average.