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Hog Farmers Say Pork Safe for Human Consumption

by 5m Editor
24 February 2009, at 9:41am

PHILIPPINES - Amid the scare triggered by the Ebola Reston virus (ERV) in pigs, a group of hog farmers in the country today assured the public that locally-produced pork and pork products are safe for human consumption – except those that are coming from a hog farm in Pandi town in Bulacan province.

In a QTV Balitanghali report, Albert Lim, president of the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI), reminded meat consumers not to “misconstrue" the Agriculture department’s order to kill 6,000 pigs in a farm in Pandi, saying the virus was confined in that facility.

“We are also apprehensive that if we keep on talking about this thing, some people might just misconstrue or misunderstand what they are talking about at baka matakot sila talaga [and people might get scared]," Lim said.

At the 18th Hog Farmers Convention in Club Filipino, Lim said the mere mention of Ebola scares people.

Also, he noted that the infection issue is still preventing them from exporting pork products.

According to GMA News.tv, agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap had said the “depopulation" move for some 6,000 pigs in Bulacan could not limit local pork stock, as the bulk represents only a small percentage of the total 15-million-metric-ton supply.

Despite the assurances, QTV’s Steve Dailisan reported that pork vendors in Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City have noted that more and more meat consumers start to shy away from buying pork.

Secretary Yap has already assured the public that prices of pork have remained stable amid the series of reports about the incidents of ERV in Central Luzon.

For its part, Bureau of Animal Industry director Davinio Catbagan assured owners of the infected farm in Pandi they would be properly indemnified after the depopulation process.

But Mr Catbagan refused to disclose the amount of remuneration they would be getting.

“Fina-finalize na lang ho ang contract [of indemnification]. Siyempre malaking halaga rin ito. Pero the amount dapat ay tamang-tama na if ever mangyari pa ito uli, hindi maabuso ang gobyreno," he said.

[We are finalizing the indemnification contract. But we will make sure the indemnification would not be open to abuse].

Further Reading

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