PH tightens importation of plant-based feeds from ASF-hit nations

The Department of Agriculture says there are findings that African swine fever can be transmitted through plant-based feeds

Anna Mogato

Published: 9:05 PM June 25, 2019

Updated: 9:05 PM June 25, 2019

EXTRA SECURITY. The Department of Agriculture extends safeguards to also cover plant-based animal feeds in a bid to prevent the entry of African swine fever. Photo from Shutterstock

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) tightened the importation of plant-based feeds from countries infected by African swine fever (ASF).

In a memorandum circular signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol last Wednesday, June 19, the DA said it based its decision on consultations with stakeholders and "scientific findings" that ASF can be transmitted through plant-based feeds. (READ: Customs implements tighter watch over swine products)

To be able to bring in plant-based feeds into the country, an independent third party surveyor will have to state the last outbreak date of ASF from the country of origin following the announcement of the World Organisation for Animal Health.

There is no need to place imported feeds in quarantine if these came from non-Asian countries with a last outbreak date that is more than 2 months or 60 days ago from the date of arrival in the Philippines.

But feeds coming from countries with a last outbreak date of less than two months or 60 days ago from the date of arrival will be subjected to quarantine.

The circular states that the quarantine will last for 20 days, counting from the time the feeds were loaded onto vessels for shipment.

Feeds from non-Asian countries can be immediately used as soon as they are cleared, since the transport usually takes at least 20 days.

Feeds from Asian countries, on the other hand, will have a 10-day quarantine period at the consignee's warehouse since shipment usually takes less than 20 days.

The DA started to ban the importation of pork products from ASF-hit countries months ago, while the Food and Drug Administration also ordered the recall of processed pork products from countries hit by ASF.

Both the DA and industry stakeholders said they are confident the Philippines still has enough buffer stock to weather lower imports caused by the ban. (READ: Piñol sacks NAIA quarantine team)

To further improve the country's hog production, the DA said it allocated 100,000 hectares of land for sorghum, a crop used for animal feeds. –