Swine flu update: NAIA seizes 216 kilos of processed meat

Government agents confiscated more than 216 kilos of pork, beef and processed meat at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport carried by passengers who arrived from countries affected by African swine fever.

Customs agents and personnel of the Veterinary Quarantine confiscated a total of 216.8 kilos of check-in meat from China, Hong Kong, and Japan from air travelers arriving at NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3.

READ: Piñol urges Filipinos to purchase local pork

Quarantine chief Enrico Miguel Capulong said the seized items include 55.5 kilos of poultry and poultry products and 75 kilos of pork and processed pork products from Chinese passengers, 69.3 kilos of beef and beef products from China and Japan, and 17 kilos of goat meat and 40 pieces of fresh eggs, also from China.

The seized meat and products were all concealed in their check-in luggage but were seen when they went through X-ray machines.

Capulong said the seized meat and products were destroyed through burning “so that the virus or bacteria may not be spread.”

Officials of the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Animal Industry and members of the National African Swine Fever Task Force recently met to discuss the possible entry of pork and other meat products from AFS-affected countries, namely—China, Belgium, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.

In September and October last year, cases of pork contamination were recorded in Korea and Japan through dumplings and hotdog products.

According to the BAI, an outbreak of the virus can affect the 40 million plus live hogs or pigs in the Philippines and can destroy the P2-billion swine industry.

To safeguard against the epidemic, BAI personnel and Port of NAIA officials initiated more briefings and information dissemination to Customs NAIA frontliners of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to strengthen the vigilance against ASF.

NAIA Customs collector Carmelita Talusan said they will coordinate closely with regulating agencies to secure the borders against entry and exit of prohibited, regulated goods to protect the swine industry.

“Safe meat products accompanied by import permits or the sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance are the ones qualified for release in ports,” she said.

In Davao, Customs agents also confiscated various agricultural and meat products from passengers arriving at the Davao International Airport.

Davao Port district collector Romalino Valdez said the items confiscated include oranges, chili, spring onions, onions, ponkan, parsley, and meat—frozen pecking duck, chicken, pork, beef and processed meat. These were brought from China, Hong Kong, United States, Canada, China, Australia, and Singapore.

The meat products from countries affected by the ASF were confiscated for proper disposal.

Valdez warned arriving passengers and importers to comply with the Customs laws and regulations by obtaining clearance and proper documentation for their goods to ensure the safety and welfare of the general public.

READ: NAIA placed on alert vs. ‘African Swine Fever

Topics: Ninoy Aquino International Airport , African swine fever , Veterinary Quarantine , Enrico Miguel Capulong
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