The Agriculture Department temporarily banned the importation of pigskin leather from countries affected by the African swine fever.
It issued Agriculture Memorandum Orders No. 23 and 26, series of 2018 on Jan. 25, 2019 prohibiting the importation of domestic and wild pigs and their products as emergency measures to prevent the entry of African swine fever virus into the Philippines.
ASF is a severe threat to the swine industry and its introduction threatens food security and challenges the livelihoods of pig producers, it said.
The agency said that because of the continuing outbreaks in China, leather of pig origin was temporarily banned. ASF virus can survive up to 300 days in skin/fat, fresh and dried.
The Bureau of Animal Industry is now conducting a risk assessment on the introduction of ASF virus through importation of leather products from China. BAI said it was considering sending an inspection team to China to visit the tannery facilities to check compliance with GMP and HACCP.
Importers were told to source their pigskin leather requirements from ASF free countries.