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Imports of fish feed materials from ASF-hit countries cleared

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said it is authorizing imports of processed animal proteins (PAPs) used in fish feed from countries affected by African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Aquaculture is one of the biggest contributors to the Philippine economy with more than two million registered fisherfolk nationwide and that to sustain the local aquaculture industry, adequate supply of feed products such as PAPs, used as raw material in aquaculture feed manufacture, is crucial,” the DA said in a memorandum order.

In March, the department banned imports of processed porcine or pork meal for animal feed use from countries affected with ASF.

According to an import risk assessment conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the risk of the virus entering via PAP shipments from ASF-affected countries is deemed to be medium, while the risk of exposure is estimated to be low.

The order also cited the World Organisation for Animal Health code, which indicates that the ASF virus is inactivated when meat is subjected to heat for at least 30 minutes at a minimum temperature of 70°C.

“Therefore, the risk of transmission of ASF virus through the inclusion of PAPs in aquatic feed diets is low, given that the feed ingredient is subjected to several manufacturing processes with a temperature sufficient to inactivate the ASF virus,” according to the order.

“To prevent further serious impact on the aquaculture sector, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. authorized the BAI to prescribe the guidelines on the importation of porcine PAPs from countries affected with ASF, as alternative source of this commodity solely for aquatic feed use,” it added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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