The Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued a memorandum order (MO) institutionalizing the indemnification process for backyard hog raisers whose animal produce will be culled due to certain diseases.
The agency said MO 32 Series of 2019 signed by DA Secretary William Dar last week is expected to further strengthen the cooperation of backyard animal raisers in reporting unusual behavior of their livestock to contain diseases more effectively.
The guidelines will apply to backyard swine farms with a maximum of 20 adult pigs or a number of young animals that will be defined by the Philippine National Standard-Code of Good Animal Husbandry Practice for Swine.
Raisers must be in actual possession of the animals ordered to be culled through government-organized culling operations to further prevent the spread of notifiable diseases.
An initial funding of P250 million was allotted by the DA for the program since compensation rates will be adjusted from time to time by the issuance of an administrative order from the agriculture secretary for all animal species and various categories.
The rates will be uniform in the entire country.
Meanwhile, Pampanga-based food processor, Mekeni Food Corp., said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed its pork-based products back to the market.
The company said it sought the agency’s clearance to redistribute its products after specific batches of the firm’s Picnic Red Classic Hotdog 500-gram (g.)and Skinless Longaniza 200-g were previously tested positive for DNA traces of African Swine Fever (ASF).
Mekeni said it presented all corrective actions taken by the company to FDA officer-in-charge Rolando Enrique Domingo late last month, including results of independent tests conducted by SGS.
“Upon due evaluation of the submitted documents and as agreed during our meeting, please be advised that this Office allows the redistribution of these processed pork meat products that tested negative for ASF,” Domingo said in a letter to Mekeni.
The clearance assures the company’s facilities, equipment, raw meat materials and all pork-based finished products for release in the market are 100 percent negative for ASF virus DNA.
“Despite assurances from the Department of Health that ASF poses no risk to humans, we took the issue seriously and spared no expense to thoroughly clean our plant, improve our processes and open it for inspection,” Prudencio Garcia, Mekeni’s president, said in a statement.
He added that as an additional safety measure, the company committed that 100 percent of its raw meats sourced in the Philippines and abroad will undergo thorough testing for ASF by a periodic environmental swabbing of its facilities.