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[Photos by Katrina Sonaco of Livestock Program]

“NO TO ASF!”

This was the unified call of different government agencies and livestock private groups in CALABARZON in response to the imminent threat of African Swine Fever (ASF) from entering the region in the inter-agency wide coordination meeting spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON on July 19, 2019 at STIARC Training Hall in Lipa City, Batangas.

The objectives of the meeting are to solicit support from these livestock industry stakeholders representing their respective agencies and private groups in case of ASF outbreak, to have supplementation of resources, and to come up with a harmonized action plan in preventing and/or eliminating ASF.

Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa assured the stakeholders that DA CALABARZON is doing all it can in cautioning the public by continuous coordination with provincial local government units (LGUs) and private sectors, social media campaigns, distribution of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials, and random inspection of markets for banned canned goods and other meat products. He also noted that a Regional Quick Response Team for ASF was duly created to immediately control the spread and eliminate the ASF should it enter the region, in close coordination with LGUs concerned.

Ms. Vilma M. Dimaculangan, the Regional Coordinator for Livestock Program, facilitated the discussion on addressing some key issues on ASF such as indemnification for affected farmers, possible burial sites for affected animals, and issuance of LGU resolutions to prevent entry/exit of concerned products, to name a few.

According to Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Chairman Pedrito R. Kalaw, the private sector, particularly the livestock, will also do its part and support the government in preventing the ASF from entering in the region.

Among the agencies attended the coordination meeting were National Meat Inspection Service, Philippine Veterinary Medical Association, International Training Center on Pig Husbandry, Provincial Veterinary Offices, Unified Batangas Hog Farmers, Inc., Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, RAFC, Provincial AFCs and its Sectoral Committee on Livestock, National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc., and some LGUs in CALABARZON. ● RFL, DA-RAFIS