The Department of Agriculture (DA) announced Tuesday that pork is safe to eat despite the outbreak of African swine fever in some parts of the country.
According to Agriculture spokesperson Noel Reyes, the virus causing hemorrhagic fever in pigs that may lead to death cannot be transmitted to humans and other animals.
“Pork is safe,” he said in an interview at DZMM.
The Department of Health, however, advised the public to cook pork properly so as not to get illnesses from eating raw meat.
Meanwhile, authorities have already culled about 7,000 pigs to prevent the spread of the virus in other pigs.
On the other hand, dozens of pigs were found floating in the Marikina River, in Quezon City creek, and in an irrigation canal in Malolos, Bulacan. The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) speculates that these may have come from raisers who hid the cases of their hogs to the government following its efforts to prevent the spread of the disease.
Reyes warned that offenders will be charged for violating the Animal Welfare Act as well as the Solid Waste Management Act.
With approximately P260 billion swine industry, the Philippines is top 8 as the world’s biggest pork producer in terms of volume and sixty percent of meat consumption of Filipinos come from pork, DA said.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar suspects that African swine fever maybe from leftover foods from hotels and restaurants or from meat products brought by Filipinos who came from countries affected by the disease.