Manila customs seize ASF-infected container

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Manila customs seize ASF-infected container

Related tags Philippines African swine fever Pork

The Bureau of Customs – Manila International Container Port (MICP) has seized a container of food after it tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) in order to prevent further spread of the disease.

According to the MICP, the container was consigned to Dynamic M Intl Trading Inc and arrived at the Manila North Harbor on 11 December 2019 from China. It was put under an Alert Order for suspicion of containing mis-declared items.

The shipment contained food items such as dumplings, pork-chicken balls, and roast chicken wings.

After an examination of its contents and undergoing laboratory test from the Veterinary Quarantine Services (VQS), the pork-celery dumplings indicated the presence of ASF.

MICP has ordered an inter-agency team to immediately dispose of the contents of the shipment in accordance with the recommendation of the VQS in order to prevent the spread of the ASF virus.

The seized items were not covered by any sanitary permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry. Agricultural items not covered by such permits may carry plant diseases, and pests that can affect local agriculture.

The shipments seized violated Sections 1400, 1113, and 117 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, RA 3720 or the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and RA 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

MICP district collector Guillermo Pedro A. Francia IV said: “We remain vigilant in ensuring the safety of the public from dangerous goods. Since the threat of the ASF was raised by the Department of Agriculture, Customs has always been proactive in preventing the entry of pork products in the country.”

In October 2019, authorities seized two containers of pork from China that had been designated as another food product​. ASF has already been confirmed in the Philippines​, with the disease hitting several provinces.

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