The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) noted significant decreases in the number of animals and the volume of meat inspected by personnel of the city government because of the reported decrease in the supply and demand, the outbreak of the African Swine Fever (ASF), high prices of meat and the effects of the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
City Veterinarian Dr. Brigit Piok stated that to provide safe meat for public consumption, the city’s Meat Market Monitoring Task Force (MMTF) intensified its surveillance, monitoring and inspection that caused the 249 percent increase in the volume of meat condemned, confiscated and properly disposed due to alleged violation of the Meat Inspection Code, Sanitation Code and Consumers Act.
Based on the data that from the CVAO, there was a 0.5 percent decrease in the total number of live animals inspected last year or a decrease by 3,129 heads from the number of heads inspected compared to the previous year.
Further, Piok reported that there was also a 31% decrease in the volume of meat inspected at the city abattoir or a decrease by 3,268 tons compared to the volume of meat that was inspected by the office in 2019.
The city veterinarian claimed that was also a 13% decrease of 1,277 tons in the volume of fish inspected in the city market compared to the volume of fish that were also inspected by the office during the preceding year.
Aside from the intensified operation of the MMTF, Piok pointed out the need to engage all meat handlers for meetings, orientations and seminars to reiterate and remind them of meat safety laws, rules, regulations and local ordinances.
On the other hand, sampling for pesticide analysis for rice, fruits and vegetables increased by 92 percent.
Piok disclosed that majority of the samples analyzed yielded traces of pesticides below the minimum residual level, thus, rice, vegetables and fruits sold in the different markets are safe for public consumption.
The CVAO is the department of the local government tasked to ensure the safety of the animals being butchered and the meat, fish, fruits and vegetables being sold in the different markets around the city pursuant to existing laws, rules and regulations that had been crafted for the said purpose.
The city government department head reminded the public to check the meat they are purchasing from the vendors in the different markets bear the stamp of the office to be assured that these had been inspected and had passed the standards imposed by the concerned government agencies and the city government for the aforesaid purpose.
She appealed to consumers to immediately report to their office meat without markings being sold in the different markets so that appropriate action can be taken to ensure that the meat had passed the sanitary requirements imposed by the agency and the city government. By Dexter A. See