Agri chief seeks airline warning vs meat from swine-flu hit areas


Posted at Jun 05 2019 03:33 PM

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Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Wednesday said he requested Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to direct airlines to warn passengers of a ban on bringing meat products into the country as a precaution against the African swine fever.
Millions of pigs have been culled as the virus cut through Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Hong Kong and China -- the world's biggest pork producer and consumer.

"Sumulat na tayo kay Secretary Art Tugade, na nakausap ko na rin. Hinihingi natin na kung maaari, i-require lahat ng airlines na lumilipad sa Pilipinas galing sa mga bansang apektado ng ASF na mag-issue ng advisory before boarding doon sa point of embarkation and before deplaning na bawal magdala ng karne sa Pilipinas," Piñol told DZMM. 

(We have written to and talked with Secretary Art Tugade. We asked that if possible, all airlines flying from countries hit by ASF should issue an advisory before embarkation and deplaning that bringing in meat into the Philippines is banned.) 

The ban, he said, covers all meat products that lack sanitary permits. 

"Unlike before na maluwag ang pagdala ng mga pasalubong, ngayon po masyadong istrikto na. In fact, kahit iyung hindi karne ng baboy, covered ng ating ban. Kapag wala kang papeles, sanitary permit na puwede kang magdala ng karne, kukumpiskahin iyan, like what they are doing in other countries," he said. 

(Unlike before, we were lenient, we are now strict. Even meats other than pork are covered by our ban. If you do not have papers, sanitary permit saying you can bring in meat, it will be confiscated.) 

Five additional K-9 units have been deployed to check luggage at the main airport's terminal 2, where authorities aim to have 45 dogs before the end of June, said Piñol. 

ASF is not dangerous to humans but is fatal to pigs and wild boars, and has no vaccine or cure. 

Regulators last week banned pork from Vietnam, Zambia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, Moldova and Belgium. 

A "temporary ban" was earlier imposed on pork from China, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. 

DZMM, May 5, 2019