MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has suspended the importation of hog products from China following a confirmed report of a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Zhoutang village in Yingtan.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the immediate suspension through a memorandum order dated July 11.
The suspension came after Dr. Zhang Zhonqui of China’s Animal Disease Control Center confirmed that an FMD-causing virus infected a hog farm in Lianghong Company in Yingtan, east of Jiangxi province.
The DA has also instructed its veterinary quarantine officers and inspectors across major ports to halt entry of livestock from Jiangxi.
The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia free from FMD.
The import ban will remain until the FMD outbreak has been contained, said Dr. Simeon Amurao, Bureau of Animal Industry assistant director.
For now, Amurao said livestock and frozen meat from China would be seized and disposed of upon confiscation at ports.
FMD, an animal viral infection that can be transmitted to humans, causes flu-like symptoms and skin blisters.
Alcala urged local hog producers to take advantage of the country’s FMD-free status and export their products once the Southeast Asian nations integrate into a single market. – Rappler.com
Image of hogs from Shutterstock
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