Mindanao hog growers want tighter border control amid cholera outbreak

The cholera outbreaks affected 12 of Bulacan’s 21 towns and three cities. The Bureau of Animal Industry, however, declared last week it was already under control.

Stephen Castillo, general manager of Matutum Meat Packing Corp. based in Polomolok, South Cotabato, also played down the effect of the hog cholera and pseudorabies virus outbreaks as Mindanao hog growers prepares to export of pork meat products to Singapore.

Aside from Matutum Meat, the Davao City-based Nenita Quality Foods Corp. were tapped early this year by the Department of Agriculture for the pioneering effort to export cut pork parts, particularly to Singapore.

“As long as Mindanao is free of the foot and mouth disease, I can say that we’re safe and secure with regards to the looming shipment of wholesome cut pork meat products to Singapore,” Castillo said.

He said that to ensure quality pork meat from Mindanao, concerned government agencies should implement a tight border control to spare the island’s swine industry.

Castillo noted that because the Philippines is an archipelago, it is not easy for hog diseases to jump from one island to another. All that is needed, he pointed out, is to tighten border control to stop the spread of the diseases.

Luckily, there have been no reported local cases of the diseases that plague the swine industry in other parts of the country, said Lorna Lamorena, South Cotabato’s chief veterinary officer. There no cases in the entire Central Mindanao region, too, she added.

But Castillo stressed it is vital for government quarantine workers in Mindanao to strictly monitor the entry of meat products and transport vehicles to Mindanao.

Castillo said, too, that Mindanao is ready to fill the gap because of the pork meat shortage in Metro Manila. Matutum Meat, he said, ships at least three containers or around 45 tons of cut pork meat parts to Metro Manila every week.

His company, he said, can process 240 pigs an hour. (MindaNews)