Agri dep't apprehends two containers with banned meat products
The Department of Agriculture has apprehended two containers carrying pork and other meat products from a country affected by African Swine Fever (ASF).
In a press statement Saturday, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the apprehension was made this week at the Port of Manila involving two cargo containers from China.
The cargo manifest declared the two refrigerated containers had tomato paste and vermicelli, but upon inspection showed instead dimsum; dumplings; Peking duck; fresh, frozen duck deserts; pork meat; and pork products; marinated chicken wings; minced vegetables with meat; egg noodles; breaded chicken fillet; fresh, frozen squid rings; and frozen scallops.
The shipments were intercepted by the DA’s anti-smuggling unit, Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement for Security and Trade (CREST) Office, in tandem with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“A report from our anti-smuggling team leader, retired police general Jonathan Ablang, said the apprehended items were stuffed in reefer containers with temperature setting at minus 18 degrees Celsius, obviously indicating that the goods kept therein are not what they were declared to be.” Hence, by BOC regulations, the shipments are “misdeclared” goods, the DA said.
DA-CREST team leader Jonathan Ablang is tasked to keep track of shipments, particularly of pork and processed pork products from ASF-affected countries.
DA-CREST alerts customs authorities on suspected illegal shipments especially from ASF-affected countries.
Since last year, the DA has banned the importation, distribution, and sale of processed pork products from countries and regions affected by ASF.
These include China, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Czech Republic, Hongkong, Hungary, North Korea, Laos, Latvia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar, Poland, Romania Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Germany.
Dar reiterates all pork products from these countries will be confiscated by DA-BAI veterinary quarantine officers and Inspectors. DMS