Davao City –Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced today the conduct of Mindanao Hog-Raisers Forum this month to map out steps to prevent entry of hog-disease to Mindanao.

The holding of Mindanao-wide forum was proposed by Sec. Piñol after meeting the Davao hog industry players who raised concerns on threats of African Swine Fever (ASF) which was earlier suspected of having caused recent deaths of pigs in Rizal province.

“It is important to put safeguard measures to protect Mindanao from the entry of meat imports from countries with ASF,” Sec. Piñol said during meeting which was also attended by representatives from agriculture and health quarantine offices.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the importation and distribution of all processed pork meat products from Hong Kong, North Korea, Laos, Germany, in addition to the list of countries it earlier released, which included China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova, and Belgium.

The safeguards include control in the entry of frozen meats, manning of quarantine checkpoints, and the recall of imported processed meats. Local Government Units must be at the forefront of the strict prohibition of meat imports, Sec. Piñol stressed.

Hog industry players noted the LGUs play an important role in strengthening monitoring of shipment of animals and processed meats; entry of undocumented animals and meat products may cause spread of virus and other diseases.

“There is a need for an island-wide discourse on this issue to ensure that Mindanao remains isolated from threats of swine disease, hence the need as well as for proactive and consolidated efforts among industry players, local and national government agencies and the general public," according to Sec. Piñol, who also served previously as DA Secretary.

The said forum is being organized by MinDA in partnership with the Department of Agriculture XI, and to participated in by LGUs, backyard hog raisers, commercial hog raisers, veterinarians and quarantine officers. It will also serve as a venue to evaluate the data of the industry, assess the challenges confronting the Mindanao swine industry and its opportunities. #

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