Seized pork dumplings from China test positive for African swine fever

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — A shipment of pork-celery dumplings from China which was seized at a port in Manila last December has been found to be infected with the African swine fever.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) in a statement on Saturday said the Manila International Container Port has ordered that the contents of the shipment be buried to prevent the spread of the virus, which affects only pigs.

The BOC said the container, consigned to Dynamic M Int'l Trading, Inc., arrived at the Manila North Harbor last December 11, 2019. It had other food items such as pork-chicken balls and roast-chicken wings.

The shipment was placed on hold as authorities suspected it contained misdeclared items, the BOC said, noting that the items did not have a sanitary permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry.

"After 100% examination of its contents and undergoing laboratory test from the Veterinary Quarantine Services (VQS), the pork-celery dumplings indicated the presence of ASF virus," the bureau said.

The MICP assured the public that it remains vigilant in preventing the entry of pork products that could have the swine fever virus.

The Philippines' import ban on pork and pork products covers 16 countries hit by swine fever, namely Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

The virus quickly spreads in an affected hog, which could lead to death after three to five days, threatening food supply. It does not infect humans, but they can carry the virus and spread the disease.

The Philippines had its first African swine fever case in July last year, meaning an outbreak. Cases of African swine fever have since been confirmed in a number of cities in Metro Manila and some provinces in Luzon, including Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Cavite.

LOOK: A timeline of African Swine Fever in the PH

Reports say cases have also been reported recently in Tarlac and Bataan.

LOOK: A timeline of African Swine Fever in the PH