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Pork from outside city considered as hot meat

SUBJECT FOR CHECK-UP. The Naga City Veterinarian's Office calls on hog growers to be on their toes against African Swine Fever (ASF) invasion by religiously observing healthy and sanitary procedures. In this photo, live hogs from nearby Calabanga, Camarines Sur delivered to Naga City's Abattoir passes through strict health inspection before they are butchered to be sold in public markets. PHOTO BY PAULO DS. PAPA

NAGA CITY---The Naga City Veterinarian's Office asked hog breeders to strictly observe proper handling of ealth and sanitation procedures in their pig pens to prevent possible African Swine Fever (ASF) viral infection and other livestock diseases for the good of the industry and the welfare of the consumers.

Recently, the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Bicol confirmed that the region is safe from ASF that has infected in epidemic proportion various piggeries in Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog, such as in the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Quezon City, and Pampanga.

Dr. Junios Elad Jr., City Veterinarian, asked local hog raisers to report to their respective Municipal Agriculture Offices or City Veterinarian's Offices once they noticed unusual deaths in their livestock.

He also suggested that visitors or unauthorized persons must keep out of piggeries and cease from feeding their livestock through swill (“sagmaw”) feeding which is susceptible to infection.

He revealed that the first case of African Swine Fever (ASF) was traced to swill feeding, or left-overs collected from a certain hotel.

Elad said his office has been regularly monitoring pork products in public markets, talipapa, and the Naga City People's Mall.

He said that in coordination with the agents of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), they have intensified inspection of cargoes and baggages at the Bicol Central Station and other bus and jeepney terminals to check meat products coming from other towns and provinces. Their inspection also covers undocumented and banned processed meat products being shipped into the city.

Valid documents such as shipping permit and meat inspection certificate must cover pork products being delivered from other municipalities and provinces to this city.

He said that hogs delivered to the city abattoir for butchering with visible signs of hog diseases, such as cholera as characterized by reddish skin are immediately rejected for slaughtering and immediately condemned and buried into a pit inside the slaughterhouse compound.

He reminded hog growers to make sure that their livestock are healthy before shipping them to the slaughter house where veterinary and meat inspectors are dispatched to certify that they are fit for human consumption.

The NMIS has clarified that the AFS does not negatively affect humans consuming them. But such infection which results to sudden deaths of pigs will surely kill the hog industry because there will be lower supply, thereby raising high prices, the NMIS stated. “And of course, people would not like eating meat that is found to be infected with a virus, even if such virus may not be fatal,” a local veterinarian was quoted as saying.

2 types of hot meat

"Hot meat refers to meat products which are not inspected by the authorities" explained Elad.

There are two kinds of hot meat. The first kind refers to meat products slaughtered in the backyard or "likod bahay katay."

The second kind are those described as technical hot meat, or those meat products that came from slaughterhouses from outside the city.

He said that farm animals from other towns must be consumed within their own municipalities

Meat products delivered from outside the city are considered by his office as hot meat, Elad said.

He advised municipal butchers to sell and consume their products within their own territorial boundaries or else they will be confiscated and end up in the city abattoir’s dumping pit.

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