RP to Re-open Pork Trade Talks with Singapore

PHILIPPINES - Manila may start renegotiating with Singapore on pork trade that was stalled as the two sides wait for results of the Ebola Reston antigen test done at the facilities of exporter Matutum Meat Packing Corp.
calendar icon 18 October 2010
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The test results will be sent to Singapore this week, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry.

“We are preparing to communicate with our Singaporean counterpart within the week. The tests conducted on accredited swine farms near the exporting meat plant proved negative to the Ebola antigen test," Animal Bureau Director Efren Nuestro told reporters at the sidelines of 18th anniversary of the National Meat Inspection Service.

Areas near and around the Matutum Meat facilities, including the five farms that were accredited to export pork to Singapore tested negative, the bureau said.

“We’ll immediately inform the farms if Singapore will allow the exportation so they can prepare the volume. Meanwhile we just have to wait," he added.

According to GMA News.tv, Singapore made it clear that Philippines should have an updated status report on viral contamination to ensure that the virus has been eradicated before the country starts exporting its meat.

An infection outbreak in several pig farms in Pandi, Bulacan in 2008 spoiled the country’s first bid to export 50 metric tons to Singapore. The outbreak had since been contained with the help of a 22-member team from three United Nations agencies.

Matutum Meat in Polomolok, South Cotabato was supposed to make its first export of pork and pork products to Singapore when the departments of Health and Agriculture confirmed the contamination in Bulacan.

Matutum Meat was the first and only Philippine meat processing plant accredited by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore to ship pork products to the island nation.

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