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Provinces Eyed as Key Pork Export Sources

by 5m Editor
22 December 2008, at 9:47am

THE PHILIPPINES - The Philippines will sustain its quarantine of the Luzon island in order to secure Visayas and Mindanao as a pork export source which is eyed as the country’s startup origin for pork shipment to the world market.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) will also test hogs in Mindanao for Ebola Reston virus despite strict isolation of Luzon where hogs infected by Ebola Reston virus were found, reports Manila Bulletin.

The Philippines is just about to receive a certification from the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) for being foot and mouth disease (FMD)-free after the Ebola Reston virus infection in four Luzon farms came up.

And shipment of pork and products have been stopped from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao since 1995 which is why government is confident of proving negative for Ebola Reston virus the hogs to be tested.

"As we clear those farms, then we are going to go back to our export track. The truth of the matter is I’m personally confident that Visayas and Mindanao were not affected at all because since 1995, we have stopped moving animals from Luzon to Mindanao and to the Visayas," Yap said in a statement.

The concern on the Ebola Reston virus emerged just at a time when the Matutum Meat Packing Corp. in Polomolok, South Cotabato was set to make its inaugural export of pork and pork products to Singapore last 10 December.

"That was the very day when the DA and (DOH) Department of Health first reported to the public the presence of the virus. Bit as part of the DA’s precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus, it suspended all planned pork shipments abroad until further notice," said DA.

Despite suspension of the export, government is looking at the positive impression of the world market to the Philippines as a source of quality pork with government’s vigilance on ensuring that livestock products are safe for human consumption.

Visayas and Mindanao have earlier received their certification from OIE from being FMD free, and Luzon remains o be the last region to receive this.