Animal Industry officials on Tuesday urged returning Filipino workers not to bring Maling luncheon meat and other canned goods as those will be confiscated to prevent the entry of African Swine Fever in the country.
“We appeal to our [workers] to refrain from bringing into the country all canned goods, particularly the Maling Meat Loaf to avoid contaminating the local swine industry,” said Renaldo Quilang, head of the National Veterinary Quarantine Service Division and the Bureau of Animal Industry at the airport in Manila.
Quilang said ASF is not a threat to human health but is highly contagious to domestic and wild pigs, and that there is no vaccine against it.
Canned products, including Maling from China, have been recalled from supermarkets and disposed by incineration or buried by importers.
Quilang said fresh, frozen pork, cooked and uncooked processed products and by-products from affected countries like China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, North Korea, Latvia, Romania, Hungary, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa and Zambia is strictly prohibited in the Philippines.
Early this month, authorities at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga confiscated boxes containing canned goods from a newly arrived Filipino from Hong Kong.
In September and October last year, cases of pork meat products being contaminated were recorded in Korea and Japan through dumplings and hotdog products.
Airport officials said the outbreak of the virus could affect the more than 40 million pigs in the Philippines and destroy the P2-billion swine industry in the country.