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Meat shipment positive for African Swine Fever

The Bureau of Customs said yesterday that a shipment containing meat products from China was found positive for African Swine Fever.

The BoC said that the shipment, consigned to Dynamic M International Trading Inc., arrived at the Manila North Harbor last Dec. 11. It contained food items such as dumplings, pork-chicken balls, and roast chicken wings.

“It was put under an alert order for suspicion of containing misdeclared items. After 100 percent examination of its contents and undergoing laboratory test from the Veterinary Quarantine Services, the pork-celery dumplings indicated the presence of ASF virus,” said the BoC.

The BoC said that the shipment was not covered by any sanitary permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry.

The BoC said that the contents of the shipment will immediately be disposed “in accordance with the recommendation of the VQS in order to prevent the spread of the ASF virus.”

“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,” said BoC-Manila International Container Port District Collector Guillermo Pedro A. Francia IV.

The BoC said that the shipment seized violated the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act; the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; and the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero urged importers to properly declare all shipments of goods.

“This is a message to all importers. We are not going to tolerate misdeclared goods or the importation of food products that will put our industries in jeopardy. We’ve already lost so much because of the swine flu. Our ports are not open for more of these products,” he said. (Analou de Vera)