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Agri chief Dar blames meat from China, swill feed for ASF outbreak

Smuggled meat from China intercepted by the government last month has been confirmed positive of the African Swine Fever (ASF), the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed Monday.

As the pork products smuggled from China were ASF positive, Agriculture Secretary William Dar concluded that the illegal importation of pork products from China was responsible for spreading the ASF virus in the Philippines.

“That concludes really that this has been introduced by bringing it here, smuggling it here, introducing it here,” Dar told reporters in a press conference in Quezon City.

Tests confirmed that samples from refrigerated container vans loaded with pork and other meat products from China were ASF infected.

Seized by authorities last month at the Port of Manila, the cargoes’ manifest listed the shipments as tomato paste and vermicelli.

Physical inspection by authorities showed the shipments were actually dimsum, dumplings, peking duck, fresh frozen duck deserts, pork meat and pork products, marinated chicken wings, minced vegetables with meat, egg and noodles.

The ASF outbreak could also come from swill feed, or food scraps fed to hogs, Dar said.

“Yung mga food waste from hotels, restaurants, even the airlines, 'yung mga food waste nila ay dinump sa Rodriguez, Rizal. At may nagkulekta ng swill feeds at pinakain sa baboy. Doon nag-umpisa,” Dar said.

The DA last month confirmed outbreaks of African Swine Fever in the country and has since ordered specific areas quarantined to prevent the deadly disease from spreading. — with Tina Panganiban-Perez/VDS/BM, GMA News