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DA to review rules for importing carabeef

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butcher buffalo meat
An Indian butcher looks out of his shop after loading up a cart with buffalo meat in New Delhi on April 14, 2015. -- AFP

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will be reviewing its importation guidelines for Indian buffalo meat or carabeef after the agency received reports of meat being retailed in wet markets.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that he assigned Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo R. Serrano to lead the review of carabeef imports.

“The meat should only go to food processors, and not be sold in the wet market,” he added.

Prior to 1996, private traders and companies were allowed to import carabeef, mostly from India, until the DA intervened after the livestock industry complained.

Later, imports were restricted to accredited meat processors.

Mr. Piñol said carabeef was found in a Marikina wet market three weeks ago, adding that the investigation is still ongoing.

“[The meat] is only for processing into corned beef. The public can eat it only if it’s been processed so they shouldn’t buy what they find in the market,” he added.

Data from the Bureau of Animal Industry showed that the Philippines imported 28.16 million kilograms of buffalo meat from India as of Oct. 31, 2017. — Anna Gabriela A. Mogato