ZAMBOANGA CITY — The public is advised to avoid buying imported pork products as these may be positive for the African Swine Fever or ASF, a deadly disease that infects hogs that can threaten the hog industry here.
The country has already imposed a ban on pork products coming from Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
According to City Veterinarian Dr. Mario Ariola, the disease does not directly affect humans. However, he warns that when pigs consume an infected meat product, it will develop the symptoms and will eventually die. Officials are concerned because this disease can spread rapidly among swine.
Dr. Ariola said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already inventoried and sealed imported commodities such as canned luncheon meat in the groceries and markets, but they have not yet done so in sari-sari stores. He advises the public to be mindful and stop buying imported products for now.
Travellers from the above-mentioned places who are arriving in the country are requested to undergo a foot bath upon disembarkation from the planes or ships, and must not bring any meat products or waste of such products to the country. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)