Agriculture group says DA ''too slow'' in tackling African Swine Fever
An agriculture group said Sunday that the Department of Agriculture (DA) was “too slow” tackling African Swine Fever.
In an interview with dzBB, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) Chairman Rosendo So said the country should create a border when it comes to importing frozen meat.
“If we don’t establish a border, we really will have a problem. That’s why our private sector will give our government a 10-hectare facility where they can inspect (if the frozen meat has diseases). But the Department of Agriculture is not doing anything. That makes us wonder why,” So said.
“That should be a go-signal to our President that this sector needs to be prioritized. But the officials in the Department of Agriculture are too slow,” he added.
So said there should be a more careful inspection of frozen meat products when they enter the country.
“The problem with importing frozen meat is they aren’t being inspected and they keep entering the country. Even pork from Italy which has ASF can enter our country. It really makes our industry worry. In other countries, if they find out that the place has ASF they don’t allow their products to enter,” he told dzBB.
In a separate interview on dzBB, AGRI Partylist Rep. Wilbert Lee said the government should start preparing to roll out vaccines against ASF.
“There is already a vaccine (against ASF) made in Vietnam. And if I’m not mistaken, it has already been rolled out in Vietnam. Their whole country is going to use it,” Lee said.
“Here in our country, the testing of the vaccine will be done by April. But we should already be prepared by now. Because in my opinion, if this is already being rolled out in Vietnam, that means it’s really effective. They have already proven that it is effective. We should be proactive rather than reactive. By now, we should already be ordering vaccines,” he added.
ASF was detected in pigs at a slaughterhouse in Carcar City, Cebu, the agriculture department said last Wednesday. Jaspearl Tan/DMS