As the outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) trickle in, countries around the world are changing their practices to fight off this deadly enemy that’s wreaking havoc on the global pork outlook.
Philippines Suspends Meat Imports from Germany
The Philippines has suspended meat imports from Germany after it was found to contain pork bones from Poland, which has an outbreak of ASF, according to a filing published by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
“There have been lapses in the inspection system of Germany to ensure export of safe food for the Philippine market, and there is a need to prevent the entry of the ASF virus into the country to protect the health of the local swine population,” the filing said.
A temporary ban was issued earlier this month. In the memorandum, the Philippines Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol issued a temporary suspension of system accreditation for all German foreign meat establishments to export meat into the Philippines.
"I am dismayed that our meat processors show more concern for the prices of hotdog and bacon than the possible devastation by the ASF of the P260-B hog industry which provides livelihood to thousands of poor Filipino farmers,” Piñol said. “The entry of the dreaded ASF into the country could lead to the collapse of our livestock industry and cause unquantifiable damage to our economy.”
He said the Philippines cannot close their eyes to this serious violation of Philippine Quarantine protocols simply because they are concerned about a possible spike in prices of hotdogs and bacon.
Bulgaria Allocates More Resources to Slow ASF Spread
Bulgaria’s agriculture minister said his country is stepping up measures to prevent the spread of ASF to protect the country’s $344 million pig-breeding industry.
In July, the Black Sea state reported 30 cases of ASF in several regions, including border provinces with Romania, Reuters reported.
“The pig-breeding is a competitive 600-million levs industry, which covers 40% of the domestic consumption of pork,” Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva, who announced several protective measures on ASF, told a news conference.
Forestry enterprises will pay $86 for each wild boar killed as the Bulgarian authorities are attempting to significantly reduce the wild boar population density in 20km zones around the ASF outbreaks.
Other preventative measures include enhancing traffic control in these areas and border points with the help of police and the army, disinfecting farms and restricting sales of pork and processed meat.
In addition, the Bulgarian government is allocating $2.1 million to slow the spread of ASF.
China's Pig Farms Clean Up
Biosecurity is tightening in China from feed mills to transport, as evidence by increased sales of disinfectants and truck cleaning washes as farmers try to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
Sales of gluteraldehyde, a chemical proven to kill the ASF virus, are up three or four times since last year, Pan Yunping, general sales manager at Jiangsu Kangbat Biotechnology Engineering Co Ltd in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, told Reuters.
The use of cleaning products like detergents and water sanitizers is also growing as farms need to be cleaned thoroughly before disinfection.
In addition, stricter biosecurity measures are taking place in feed mills and large farms are installing more truck washes and drying stations for the disinfected vehicles.
Although the government in China provides disinfectants to many small farms for free, the improved practices are raising costs at a time when many farmers are already struggling from losses due to ASF.
Some producers are looking for shortcuts and ways to save money, using cheap products like calcium oxide (quicklime) that do not effectively kills the virus, Reuters said. Other agents like chlorine are effective against ASF but are unreliable because of their volatility.
For more on the global spread of ASF, visit porkbusiness.com/ASF.
More from Farm Journal’s PORK: