Local News

No More Christmas Ham? African Swine Flu Identified as Culprit

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. recently announced that there may be a shortage of ham in the coming Yuletide Season. In light of the recent ‘African Swine Flu’ scare, restriction in distribution of Luzon-based pork products has been imposed.

“The first ones to announce the total bans were the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. Another 18 provinces in the country followed and 26 more imposed conditional bans. That’s more than half of the provinces in the whole country,” states Rex Agarrado, spokesman of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc., in an article by Sunstar. “These are very seasonal products and production capacity allocated for ham is very little. No company would allocate much for products which could only be sold for three months in a year. It doesn’t make business sense,” adds Agarrado.

The association has also affirmed that members have decided to scale down production as much as 20% in the recent African Swine Flu mishap, in an article by GMA.

“We have decided to cut the production of Christmas ham by 15% to 20%,” states Jerome Ong of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc.

African Swine Flu is a contagious hemorrhagic disease affecting both domestic and wild pigs. Although the disease is not a threat to humans, but it has been for the pork industry. After an outbreak was identified in Manila, authorities have culled around 7,000 pigs within a one kilometer radius. So far, the disease has been identified as an epidemic. African Swine Flu has already spread from Slovakia to China, and has caused the price of pork to shoot up worldwide.

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