The aquaculture sector has welcomed President Bongbong Marcos’ move to allow the importation of processed animal proteins (PAP) which are used in manufacturing fish feeds.
In a joint manifestation, food security and livelihood advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan said Marcos’ decision would ensure the steady growth of the aquaculture industry.
“This decision will grant Filipinos an inexpensive and ample fish supply and provide the population with their daily allowance of required protein. This is another step closer toward attaining national food sufficiency,” Tugon Kabuhayan said.
Among the 270 organizations and companies that signed the manifestation include the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, Philippine Association of Fish Producers Inc., Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federations, Inc., Malalag Bay Fishcage Operators, Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance, Inc., Inter-Island Deep Sea Fishing Association, Inc., Feedmix Specialist Inc. II, Dobe Export International, Oversea Feeds Corporation, CDT Farm, Finfish Hatcheries, Inc., Frabelle Group, and various fishpond and fish cage owners and operators from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Aquaculture feed mills source their PAP from European companies that use only category 3 materials or those that include only parts of animals that passed accredited slaughterhouses and were deemed fit for human consumption.
Tugon Kabuhayan said the safety of PAP is based on science. It cited the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) Terrestrial Animal Health Code Article 15.1.23, which stipulates that African swine fever (ASF) is inactivated if the meat is heated at 70°C for 30 minutes.
Even assuming that ASF is present, the process used for rendering PAP is more than enough to kill or inactivate any virus or pathogen.
The aquaculture feed manufacturing further subjects all ingredients, including PAP, to ultra-high temperatures. The manufacturing process for those who will be allowed to use PAP under the regulation further assures that any pathogens are killed.
The BAI-assessed aquafeed manufacturing process uses high heat to ensure that all pathogens and other microorganisms are killed. This makes locally produced Aquaculture Feeds ASF-free, not putting the swine industry nor the poultry industry at risk.
Moreover, the 45 to 60 shipment days for PAP imported from countries like Italy further inactivate any ASF contamination.