MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Incorporated (PAMPI) urged its members to temporarily stop buying local pork to mitigate the spread of the African swine fever (ASF).
“Because of the Bureau of Animal Industry test results leaked by some hograisers themselves, and the continued warning of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to local swine groups not to feed swill to their pigs, we believe that it is safer for the meat processing industry not to buy local pork until they are able to assure government authorities and the consuming public that local pork is ASF-free,” PAMPI spokesman Rex Agarrado said in a statement on Tuesday, October 29.
The organization also urged authorities to randomly test pork for ASF in the Visayas and Mindanao, although there have been no reported hog deaths there. (READ: Fewer Christmas ham seen as PH combats African swine fever)
The remarks come as processed meat giant Mekeni Foods Corporation ordered a recall of its products. The company insisted that there are no official tests yet confirming industry sources' statements that its hotdogs and tocino tested positive for ASF.
PAMPI has 88 member companies and is said to collectively generate some P300 billion in sales every year. They employ some 150,000 direct workers and 200,000 employees in allied sectors.
While PAMPI recognizes the authority of local government units to protect its constituents in the agriculture sector, it also pleaded that other vital sectors of the economy must be protected as well.