Meat from nations hit by swine fever burned
CEBU, Philippines — An estimated 100 kilos of fresh and processed pork meat and meat byproducts have been confiscated from foreign travellers who have arrived in Cebu as part of the stringent measures against African swine fever.
Personnel of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry-Veterinary Quarantine Service and the Bureau of Customs-subport of Mactan burned these products on Friday.
In a statement released on its Facebook page, DA-7 said the confiscation and burning was in compliance with the strict implementation of the DA order banning of entry of pork or any meat and meat byproducts, especially from countries affected by the swine fever virus.
The virus causes a hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs, but also persistently infects its natural hosts, warthogs, bushpigs, and soft ticks.
The ban started in December.
Countries affected include Belgium, China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
DA-7 said that it also confiscated poultry meat products in compliance with the Avian Influenza or Bird Flu prevention.
Meanwhile, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara urged the government to direct more energy and resources towards improving the agriculture sector to help the country achieve inclusive growth and food security.
“If we invest more on revitalizing the agriculture sector, we provide not only food stability for the country’s growing population, but also jobs and livelihoods for millions of Filipinos dependent on agriculture,” Angara said in a statement.
Aside from infrastructure development, Angara said the nation needs nothing short of an “agricultural revolution” which the Duterte administration can spearhead alongside its “Build, Build, Build” initiative.
An agricultural revolution, he said, is necessary to help revive the agriculture sector and improve the lives of impoverished farmers and fisher folk, who belong to 60 percent of the country’s poorest.
“Where there’s build, build, build, there should also be ‘grow, grow, grow’; ‘plant, plant, plant’ or even ‘fish, fish, fish,’” Angara said.
Citing government records, Angara said that agriculture remains of crucial importance to in the economy of the Philippines, even though its relative contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) has been declining over the years. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/JMD
By investing heavily in agriculture, Angara said the government would be able to make the country’s economic growth more inclusive or felt by a larger population.
“With an improved and revitalized agriculture sector, we can lift millions from poverty and hunger,” Angara further said. —/JMD (FREEMAN)