Debate on pork protein imports from ASF-hit countries rages
The government is being urged anew to ban the entry of processed animal proteins (PAPs) from countries with active cases of African swine fever (ASF) or until at least safeguards are put in place.
To recall, in August, the Department of Agriculture (DA) allowed the aquaculture industry to source imported PAPs from countries with confirmed ASF outbreaks to ensure adequate supply of feed products.
The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has yet to fully implement the regulation it recently issued governing the regulated importation of this fish feed ingredient.
Following the issuance of the DA memo, the National Advisory Committee on Animal Disease Control and Emergency (NAC-ADCE) issued a resolution urging anew President and acting Agriculture Secretary Marcos Jr. to outline the “decision pathways”
Particularly, the NAC-ADCE wants the BAI to conduct a risk assessment on the importation of PAPs and a value chain study of the possible PAP routes, and to identify the critical points in the chain to determine the movement management capacities.
It also asked the agency to investigate the biosecurity practices in aquaculture and verify the economics of bringing in the raw material from ASF-free countries that may incur a higher cost versus the cost of incurring and controlling the animal disease.
“That while the above courses of actions are not completed and reviewed, the importation of PAPs from ASF positive countries [should] be put on hold,” the Aug. 11 resolution read.
The DA order in question, as the document stated, caused apprehension among hog raisers.
“The DA cannot categorically claim that the ASF problem in our country is ‘under control,’ hence introducing another risk is tantamount to deliberately endangering the local industry,” the DA’s technical advisory body stated.
It noted there are only a handful of feed mills exclusively for aquatic feeds and there is a perceived risk of cross contamination.
Likewise, they raised questions about the biosecurity interventions to be put in place from the ports of entry to feed mills to end users, as well as biosecurity practices in managing the water flow in cleaning ponds after each harvest. INQ
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