Banned Beef Destroyed to Prevent 'Mad Cow'

Article excerpt

Byline: RONNIEL DE GUZMAN and BONG RODRIGUEZ

Authorities from the Department of Agricultures (DAR) Plant, Veterinary, and Fisheries Quarantine Services destroyed recently 195 kilos of banned Japanese Kobe beef as part of the governments campaign to screen the entry of beef from Japan in an effort to prevent an outbreak of mad cow disease.

Philippine authorities confiscated and later burned various illegal shipments of assorted fruits, fruit-bearing seedlings, rice seeds, aquatic plants, vanilla cuttings, chicken and pork meat from Xiamen, China brought into the country by traders during the new year and holiday season.

The illegal shipments were confiscated jointly by the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Bureau of Customs (BoC) and Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) quarantine personnel from various passengers on various flights in violation of plant and veterinary quarantine laws, rules, and regulations.

In 2001, the Philippine government took precautions to check a possible outbreak of mad cow disease and issued a temporary ban on the importation of live cattle and its meat products from Japan. The ban also covered goat, sheep, and bovine (cow) embryo meat and bone meal.

Japan, the only country in Asia to have confirmed bovine spongi form encephalopathy (BSE), uncovered its first case in September, 2001.

Dr. Dave Catbagan, chief of the BAIs Veterinary Quarantine Services said the Kobe beef shipment which was in 9 big cartons was brought into the country by Kokubo Hikaru, a Japanese trader, last Dec.21 from Narita on board Japan Airlines flight JAL-741.

Catbagan said the Japanese beef shipment may end up in high-end Japanese restaurants which will showcase the expensive and coveted fare, known for its very tender and delectable taste, especially during the recent Christmas celebrations. …