Philippines Bans Singapore Pig Products After Detection Of African Swine Fever
Back in February, a wild boar carcass in Singapore tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).
Since then, there have been outbreaks of the disease in various countries, including the Philippines.
On Monday (6 Mar), the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA) imposed a temporary ban on pig products from Singapore.
This means travellers entering the Philippines carrying pig products from Singapore will have the items confiscated, The Straits Times (ST) reported.
Philippines bans all pig products from Singapore
The temporary ban on the importation of pigs from Singapore comes amidst an outbreak of ASF in the Philippines.
According to The Manila Times, Singapore is not an accredited country to export any porcine products to the Philippines.
Nonetheless, the ban includes hand-carried pork products that may be susceptible to ASF. These can be from international vessels or any other routes.
Mr Domingo Panganiban, the senior undersecretary of the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture, elaborated that the ban includes the importation of domestic and wild pigs as well as their products and by-products.
He cited examples such as pork meat, pork skin, porcine processed animal proteins, and semen originating from Singapore.
Ban due to swine fever detected in Singapore
Mr Panganiban said that on 5 Feb, Singapore’s Animal and Veterinary Services (AVS) submitted an official report to the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) stating that there had been an outbreak of ASF.
The outbreak involving a wild boar apparently took place in northwest Singapore.
The Manila Times reported that because of this, there is a need for regulatory controls to protect both human and animal health.
This means the confiscation of products at all ports of entry. The Philippines will also not be issuing Sanitary and Phytosanitary import clearances for Singapore’s pig products.
These clearances are needed when importing animals, animal feed, ingredients, animal products, and by-products into the country.
The temporary ban will remain until a revocation is issued in writing, said Mr Panganiban.
Taiwan has similar ban on Singapore pig products
ASF infects pigs’ and wild boars’ body systems. Thankfully, it is not a zoonotic disease, so it cannot be transmitted to humans.
While Singapore doesn’t have pig farms, we are home to wild boars typically concentrated in nature reserves, parks, and other green spaces.
According to ST, Taiwan imposed a similar ban on Singapore pork products in February.
Visitors who import these banned products to Taiwan will face a fine of NT$200,000 (S$8,800).
Repeat offenders will face a heftier fine of NTS$1 million ($43,884).
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