THE Bureau of Animal Industry said it will establish inspection facilities at five major international ports this year to step up monitoring of potentially infected meat imports.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said the inspection facilities will be established on the recommendation of the private sector.

The Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Fisheries, Inc. and the United Broilers Association have complained about government efforts to keep out African Swine Fever (ASF) and avian flu, and blamed outbreaks in the Philippines on lax import inspection.

The two groups said the government is missing out on potential revenue from meat import taxes while also helping the industry avoid ASF and bird flu.

The DA (Department of Agriculture) and the National Meat Inspection Service also plan to invest in biosecurity measures in cold storage warehouses.

The biosecurity measures aim to prolong the freshness of poultry and livestock products.

“Investment in biosecurity is a necessity and may be part of the new normal,” Mr. Dar said.

Researchers have discovered a new strain of swine flu in China that is capable of causing a new pandemic.

The new swine flu strain named G4 has genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009 and has shown the potential to infect humans. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave