Ayaw patalo! Hog raisers insist DA should guarantee imported feeds are ASF-free even after Marcos Jr has spoken

A group of local hog raisers want the Department of Agriculture’s assurance that animal feeds coming from overseas are free from African swine fever (ASF) after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. allowed the importation of processed animal protein (PAP).

In a recent interview on ANC, National Federation of Hog Farmers president Chester Tan said DA should only accept PAP from a list of fewer than 10 nations which do not have a single case of ASF, namely the US, Canada, France, Netherlands, and Ireland.

“We are not against importation of PAP, we are against importing PAP from ASF-infected countries,” Tan told ANC anchor Karmina Constantino.

Tan was then asked by Constantino why his group feared about possible ASF infection from animal feed given that PAP is screened abroad, subjected to high heat to kill remaining viruses, and cooked by end-users before being fed to their hogs.

Tan responded by saying his group would not accept a “medium” or even a “low” risk of transmission.

“It’s not 100% free from ASF,” the hog raiser said.

“What if we don’t have any laboratory to inspect when the products arrive? What if it carries ASF or other bacteria or viruses, who will take care of it? Who are we going to blame?,” he added.

Tan, however, stopped short of blaming Marcos for the importation policy, saying instead that it’s the call of the President’s subordinates at the DA.

“Unless the government can assure us they have a laboratory to test all the shipment coming in and our BAI can assure that 100% the PAP or the by-product will be 100% safe… then we will not contest this anymore,” he added.