THE PHILIPPINES has banned pork imports from Germany after the European country reported its first case of the African Swine Fever (ASF).

The latest ban was a reiteration of the ban Manila imposed in July 2019 after it found that Germany had exported meat from another country affected by the virus, Agriculture spokesman Noel O. Reyes said in a mobile phone message on Sunday.

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar enforced the temporary ban on domestic and wild pigs, pork products and by-products to the country after the official report submitted by German authorities to the World Organisation for Animal Health on Sept.10 that confirmed the presence of the virus.

The first case of the virus in Germany was confirmed in a wild boar from the town of Schenkendöbern in Spree-Neiße, Brandenburg, according to the report.

The Philippines won’t process and evaluate applications or issue sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances to domestic and wild pigs, pork products and by-products from Germany.

“All shipments of pigs, pork and pork products from Germany into the Philippines will be confiscated by all Bureau of Animal Industry veterinary quarantine officers at all major ports of entry,” the Agriculture department said.

In a July 2019 memo, then Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol banned imported meat from Germany, citing lapses in the country’s inspection system to ensure safe food exports.

The suspension came after the Animal Industry bureau found co-mingling of pork flat bones from Poland, which at the time was affected by the African Swine Fever, and had legitimate imports from Germany.

The African Swine Fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. The virus does not pose a health risk to humans.  Revin Mikhael D. Ochave