DA: Pork supply 'enough' for holiday season despite African swine fever threat


Posted at Oct 21 2020 01:33 PM

Residents retrieve their livestock and belongings from their houses in Agoncillo town, Batangas, on Jan. 17, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File 

MANILA - The country's pork supply will be enough for the upcoming Christmas holidays, even as African swine fever remains "a threat" to the hog industry, the agriculture department said Wednesday.

African swine fever, which causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs that almost always ends in death, has hit 25 out of the country's 81 provinces and forced the culling of some 350,000 hogs, said Agriculture Secretary William Dar. 

"It continues to be a threat to the Philippine swine industry," he said in a Laging Handa public briefing. 

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Despite this, frozen pork is enough and authorities will ensure that cold storage facilities release their supply, said Dar. 

"Marami pa tayong imbentaryo. If we compare iyong imbentaryo natin last year, the same period, mayroon tayong 55 percent more pork inventory," he said. 

(We have a high inventory. If we compare our current inventory to that of last year, the same period, it is 55 percent higher.)

The agriculture department is also facilitating the delivery of pork to Metro Manila from Visayas and Mindanao, he said.

Pork accounts for 60 percent of meat consumption in the Philippines, where the swine industry is valued at P260 billion, according to the Department of Agriculture. 

African swine fever cannot be transmitted to humans and other animals. 

"Few" countries have eradicated the disease, like Spain, which took 3 years, said Dar. 

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