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The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV CALABARZON conducted an animal health coordinators’ meeting attended by the provincial veterinarians in the region and their staff on January 23, 2018 at Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center Training Hall, Lipa City, Batangas.

The meeting was spearheaded by the Livestock Program with the Regulatory Division and Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) of DA CALABARZON.

According to Assistant Regional Director (ARD) for Research and Regulations Elmer T. Ferry, the regional office and the local government units (LGUs) in the region shall join forces and resources to effectively combat diseases or be more prepared. “The LGUs can expect full support from the regional office to protect the livestock sector from any threat of disease, ARD Ferry said.

“It is very important for us to monitor the welfare of our livestock sector since the region is essentially a livestock region where the major part of our growth in the region comes from this (livestock) sector,” ARD for Operations and Extension Enrique H. Layola said. He further emphasized that the provincial veterinarians play a very important role in guarding the livestock sector from any threat of disease looming in the region.

During the meeting, the provincial veterinarians and staff of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon presented their respective Provincial Animal Health Program. Campaigns, provision of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials on animal health, and vaccines are the primary interventions given by the provinces to their respective constituents in relation to animal health program implementation.

Dr. Gloria G. Salazar, Chief of RADDL, discussed the operational plan for rabies elimination in dog (OPLAN-RED) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), and avian influenza surveillance and monitoring being implemented in the region.

Animal Health is one of the programs implemented under the Livestock Program which facilitates the implementation of disease prevention and control, disease surveillance and reporting, outbreak investigations, and border control in the region. It closely coordinates with the provincial, city, and municipal veterinary and agriculture offices, Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), and other livestock agencies in the conduct of disease prevention and control. Also, it acts as official representatives to animal health-related activities, meetings and conferences of the DA and BAI. • RFL