Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol ordered quarantine officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to implement stricter measures on the entry of meat products, especially pork from Hong Kong, following the reported outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the territory.

In his order, Piñol also warned incoming passengers that “bringing in meat and other agricultural products without the necessary permit, especially those coming from ASF-affected countries”, could be slapped a fine of up to P200,000.

Hong Kong earlier reported that it will cull some 6,000 pigs after its first-ever case of ASF was found in a slaughterhouse close to its border with mainland China.

China is the world’s biggest pork producer, with roughly 433 million pigs, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Beijing’s Agriculture Ministry said the loss of half of the country’s pigs could push prices up by as much as 70 percent.

China is estimated to have 200,000 tons of pork in its reserves, but this is just a fraction of the supply needed to satisfy demand in the world’s biggest pork market, it said.

As such, the agriculture chief said the Philippines is eyeing the export of pork to China “because of what is going on with their hog industry (due to the ASF issue).”

“The Philippines is eyeing the export of pork to China.”

The agriculture head is set to go to China next month to discuss with his Chinese counterpart the possibility of exporting pork and other meat products there.

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