Antique urged to reconsider ASF-free products from affected areas

Several food manufacturers in areas affected by African swine fever (ASF), particularly in Luzon, are urging the Antique Provincial Veterinary (ProVet) office to reconsider and allow their virus-safe products in the province.

“The companies claimed that they had acquired their pork ingredient from an ASF-free area and, thus, these are safe,” said Dr. Rafael Marco Ardamil, Antique ProVet Public Health Division head, in an interview Wednesday.

He said one manufacturing company even sent the ProVet a formal letter of request while another company had relayed it through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Antique provincial office.

Unilever Philippines Inc., through its distributor Teen Sales and Promotions Inc. Operations Manager Ian Gonzales also sent a letter to

ProVet last November.

The other one is Nissin Philippines that expressed concern through DTI, Ardamil added.

Because of these requests, ProVet will be forwarding these to the Antique Provincial Board to review its provincial ordinance to retain the province as ASF-free, he said.

“We are still ASF-free until now because of the implementation of the provincial ordinance,”

Ardamil added.

The Antique Provincial Board in 2020 approved the ordinance prohibiting the transport and sale of pork-based products from Luzon and other areas in the country that have ASF cases.

The ordinance had led to several confiscation of pork-based food products from Luzon and other affected areas to include cans of sausage that were found by the Provincial Task Force on ASF led by the ProVet.

“Only this December, we were able to have pork-based products confiscated from passengers who arrived at the Antique Airport from Manila while the other one from a grocery store,” he said.

He said the confiscated products when submitted for laboratory examination at the Department of Agriculture Regional Office 6 (Western Visayas) laboratory were all found to be negative of ASF.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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