DA, DTI met with swine industry players amid rising ASF cases
The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have recently met with swine industry players, including the meat processors, amid the rising cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.
“We have to arrive at a win-win arrangement,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
The industry players met with Dar and Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez to discuss the growing concern of the public over consuming pork and pork products due to cases of ASF.
“We are worried that more local government units (LGUs), particularly those in Visayas and Mindanao, will ban the transport of hogs and pork products from Luzon,” members of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) said.
To prevent further losses to the meat processors and hog raisers and ensure the public that pork and pork products are safe to eat, a proposal for a joint effort among four concerned national government agencies was raised.
As such, Dar and Lopez agreed to enjoin the Department of Health and the Department of the Interior and Local Government for them to release a common set of guidelines on the trade of pork and pork products.
“We need to assure the public of the safety of local pork and to avoid unnecessary banning,” Lopez said.
Dar also supported the request of PAMPI for the Food and Drug Administration to deputize the National Meat Inspection Service in ensuring that all the processed pork products underwent proper food safety procedures.
The secretaries likewise urged the meat processors and the hog raisers to issue a joint statement to assure the public that their products complied with high quality and safety standards, and are therefore safe to eat.