Pork, meat products from ASF-hit China seized in Manila

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) — Authorities have confiscated two cargo containers loaded with pork and meat products from China, one of the countries hit by the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar in a media briefing on Saturday said these products will be tested for ASF.

"The Bureau of Animal Industry will now also collect samples from the products kasi kakakumpiska lang (because these were just confiscated) the other day," Dar said.

The Department of Agriculture said the shipments were "misdeclared" as tomato paste and vermicelli. It actually contained pork meat, pork products, dimsum, dumplings and other food products such as Peking duck, fresh and frozen duck deserts, marinated chicken wings, minced vegetables with meat, egg noodles, breaded chicken fillet, fresh and frozen squid rings, and frozen scallops.

The DA's anti-smuggling unit, along with the Bureau of Customs intercepted the smuggled products at the Port of Manila this week. The shipment was consigned to Jeniti International Trading in Binondo, a Chinese district in Manila.

Dar said those responsible for the smuggling of the products will face a number of charges, including violation of the Food Security Act.

The Philippines' import ban on pork and pork products includes China and 15 other countries hit by swine fever. The rest are Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

In the Philippines, cases of ASF have been confirmed in some areas in Quezon City, Rizal, Bulacan, and more recently in Pampanga, Cavite, Nueva Ecija, and Pangasinan.

Since the outbreak of swine fever in July, more than 30,000 pigs have been culled in the country.

LOOK: A timeline of African Swine Fever in the PH

ASF only affects pigs, but humans can carry the virus and spread the disease. The virus quickly spreads in an affected hog, which could lead to death after three to five days, threatening food supply.

CNN Philippines' Paolo Barcelon contributed to this report.