DA7, LGUS ON HEIGHTENED ASF WATCH

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Created on Sunday, 23 May 2021

With region 7 still a green zone based on the national zoning map and movement plan for African Swine Fever (ASF)

, the Department of Agriculture-Central Visayas (DA7) and the Provincial / City veterinarians in the respective provinces and cities of the region together with the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry Regional Veterinary Quarantine Services (DA-BAI-RVQS7), the National Meat Inspection Services - 7 (NMIS-7) and stakeholders in the Regional Advisory Committee - Animal Disease Control and Emergency -7 collectively sustain the conduct of monitoring and surveillance activities to prevent incursion of the ASF virus into the region.

The intensified monitoring of swine farms and slaughterhouses is aimed at early detection of cases.
The conduct of monitoring and surveillance is very important with the veterinarians of the Local Government Units (LGUs) as lead implementer.
Dr. Daniel Ventura, Jr, the Regional ASF Coordinator said that the ASF-free status of the region is attributed to the proactive stance and vigilance of the Local Government Units who are dedicated to protect their respective jurisdiction against entry of ASF.
"For early detection and quick response, we need real time reporting coming from the field particularly on unexplained deaths in swine populations. We need to intensify monitoring of hogs and pork products at the ports of entry.
Moreover, we have already started screening for ASF blood samples that are randomly collected from slaughterhouses through the support of our LGU veterinarians." Ventura said.
DA-7 Regional Executive Director Atty. Salvador Diputado, urged the concerned veterinarians and stakeholders in the livestock industry, to help ensure that region 7 will remain as "green zone" forever.
"Nindot paminawon nga (very nice to hear) that our region is a green zone, but, if we miss preventing the entry, daku nga challenge ug trabaho (will be a big challenge and a tedious work).
Diputado, reiterated for a more realistic crafting of an action plan against ASF. He further emphasized that there's a lot to be done in terms of awareness campaign especially on biosecurity protocols down to the barangay level.
"I encourage our LGUs through our veterinarians to lobby for the crafting of a local ordinance on biosecurity protocols with inclusion of INSPIRE (Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion). We need a holistic approach for the prevention and recovery of the swine industry.
During the workshop on the drafting of Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay ASF) and establishment of an Internal Command System (ICS) for ASF Response, DA-BAI commended region 7 for its efforts and determination in preventing the entry of ASF in CV.
Dr. Samuel Joseph Castro, DA-BAI National ASF Focal Person emphasized on rendering high regards and significance to being an ASF free region. He encouraged everyone to be vigilant and be part in this battle, as part of the "Whole of Nation Approach."
"Everyone has its role (from big commercial farmers to a backyard raiser, down to being a consumer) as we try our best to curtail, prevent and stop the ASF from spreading," Castro said.###

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