Posted on: Wednesday September 18, 2019

DA, Camsur provincial gov’t take safety measures on ASF
“So far, the Bicol Region is ASF free!”

This was the recently issued bulletin by OIC Regional Executive Director, Rodel P. Tornilla of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in connection to the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak, wherein the region is declared as safe and free of the disease.

Last 17 September 2019, a consultation meeting was spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, in collaboration with DA Regional Field Office V, to effectively come up with safety measures on how to secure the province from ASF. Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (MDRRMOs) and Municipal Agriculturists took part in the meeting.

Prior to this, DA has already made several interventions like orientation seminar on ASF, creation of crisis management task force, activation of the quick response team, distribution of IEC materials, and series of consultation meeting to every province of the Bicol region, among others.

“For swine raisers, we wish to remind them to enhance their biosecurity measures, promptly report any unusual animal mortalities in their respective farms, and avoid swill feeding,” said Rosita Imperial, Chief, Regulatory Division, DA RFO V.

Imperial also urged the MDRRMOs and MAs to have an actual inventory of the number of swine and its farm locations on their respective areas which will serve as their first step in animal disease preparedness and response.

In case of an outbreak in the region, DA created a strategic plan called LIEMPO which stands for: locate, hold and cull, improve surveillance and reporting, educate stakeholders, mobilize supporters, protect free zones, and optimize biosecurity.

As the final outcome of all its interventions, DA came up with biosafety measures through farm disinfection activity that is being spearheaded by the provincial local government units in collaboration with municipal LGUs and private sectors. Some provinces like Sorsogon, Albay and Camarines Norte are already implementing such activity.

The provincial government of CamSur adopted this safety measure and agreed to have a 5-week massive farm disinfection to all backyard farms and slaughterhouses in all districts of the province. It also activated an Emergency Operation Center (EOC) for ASF and created an Infolink System for the real-time reporting and monitoring of the entry of pig and pork in the province, and other related issues.  

Six checkpoints will also be established to all point of entry to Bicol to intensify surveillance that no vehicles carrying live pigs or pork products without proper transport permit and Veterinary Health Certificate could enter the region. Last September 26, 2019, a training on Veterinary Quarantine Inspection was held tackling the grounds on how to properly inspect vehicles during checkpoint operations.

In relation to this, Governor Migz Villafuerte also issued an Executive Order No. 8 Series of 2019 or an order implementing safeguards on the transportation of live pigs, pork, and pork-related products into the province of Camarines Sur subsequent to the reports of hog mortality in different areas of the country.

Written By: Annalyn Gallego

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