Ebola stops Singapore-bound pork shipment

16-12-2008 | |
Ebola stops Singapore-bound pork shipment

The Philippines has stopped a shipment of 50,000 tonnes of pork to Singapore after traces of low pathogenic Ebola-Reston virus were found on some hog farms in the country, officials said on Monday.

The shipment was supposed to be the country’s first-ever pork export. The pork products were set to be sent to Singapore on Dec. 10 when the government voluntarily stopped the shipment due to food safety concerns, said Davinio Catbagan, director of the government’s animal industry bureau.

The Ebola Reston virus scare broke out Wednesday last week when the DA and the Health department confirmed that six out of 28 hog tissues tested positive for the virus. The hogs were from four swine farms in Pandi (Bulacan province), Manaoag (Pangasinan) and backyard farms in Talavera and Cabanatuan (Nueva Ecija).

The hogs from the commercial farms were immediately quarantined following the confirmation, but last week, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said the hogs that were quarantined in swine farms in Luzon were all tested negative for the Ebola Reston virus strain. Yap said the case may be considered “isolated,” considering that the strain had not spread and no additional cases were reported.

Following the negative results of all hogs quarantined, the RITM would most likely cease the testing of hogs from Luzon piggeries.