Monitoring of slaughterhouses heightened

THE National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) in Northern Mindanao has gone stricter in terms of killing pigs for food in slaughterhouses following the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) in Mindanao.

NMIS-Northern Mindanao Director Dr. Angelita Barcelona said slaughtering operations can only be done if they have the Veterinary Health Certificate and Veterinary Shipping Permit. The former to be issued by the veterinarian office, while the latter by the quarantine office.

There are also inspections of the slaughterhouse, checking whether there are signs and symptoms of ASF.

"Kung naa man gani, naa tay mga action: i-condemn nato, isirado nato ang slaughter. Duna tay disinfection nga himoon sa slaughterhouse," Barcelona said.

If there are no signs of ASF among the hogs, the NMIS will do a post mortem inspection and will issue a Meat Inspection Certificate, which should be presented to the quarantine, together with the Veterinary Shipping Permit, upon transportation to the market.

Barcelona said they have enforcement teams on standby in case of pork meat that did not go through the meat inspection.

"Kay delikado gyud na mukaon ta og karne nga wala moagi og meat inspection," Barcelona said, adding that even if the hogs were slaughtered and its meat cooked, the ASF virus is still present.

The Bureau of Animal Industry-Veterinary Quarantine Regional Office, for its part, has strengthened its monitoring operations in the boarders of Northern Mindanao to prevent the entry of live pigs and pork products from ASF-affected areas.

"Very alarming na sya kay naa na sya within the Mindanao area so what we did together with the ASF task force, gina strengthen namo ang boarders, especially facing Davao area," said Dr. Jake Sepe of the BAI-Veterinary Quarantine Regional Office.

According to Sepe, they put in additional manpower, 24/7 operational, in entry points of Northern Mindanao, especially in the Bukidnon area.

They also tapped other government agencies and private sectors to help in their monitoring operations.

There are also police and military personnel stationed in quarantine points, checkpoints and in sea ports, and airports.

"Times two na ang ka-strikto, at the same time dili lang ASF, naay uban nga mga virus karon so ma-cover ra gihapon," Sepe said.


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