Steps taken to ensure ASF does not affect Thai pork exports
The African Swine Fever (ASF) should not affect Thailand’s pork exports as it is strictly adhering to standards set by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and importers, the Department of Livestock Development said on Sunday.
Sorawit Thaneeto, the department’s director-general, said relevant agencies have been tasked with studying the impact ASF may have on imports and ensuring the losses are minimised.
The largest importers of Thai pork are Hong Kong and Japan.
Sorawit said Thailand is adhering to the following regulations:
• For countries that do not have strict controls, the department will ensure all pork products are ASF free by testing pigs before they are slaughtered and conducting random tests on finished products.
• In line with OIE regulations, all ready-to-eat pork products will be cooked at 70 degrees Celsius for at least 30 minutes or fermented with salt and dried for at least six months. Sausage casing will be fermented with salt, saline solution or phosphate salt for at least 30 days.
• For countries that have tight regulations on pork import, the department will negotiate with relevant agencies so Thailand can continue exporting. For instance, Singapore’s regulations say that pork-exporting countries must be safe from ASF for at least three months.
• The department will also study pork export based on importers’ regulations and other factors such as the Covid-19 situation.
Sorawit said he expects Thailand’s pork export this year to be similar to last year when some 23,000 tonnes of pork products worth 3.64 billion baht were shipped out.
He added that the Commerce Ministry has halted the export of live pigs for three months until April 5, and after that “the department will consider its guidelines in line with the situation”.