The provincial government of Negros Occidental has created a task force to beef up measures against the African swine fever.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson signed Executive Order 19-23 creating a provincial task force on ASF on July 26.
The EO states that the country’s swine industry is currently facing the threat of being affected by the ASF outbreaks in the neighboring Asian countries, and that all preventive measures should be undertaken to safeguard the territorial jurisdiction against the disease, as well as the need to protect the multi-billion peso swine industry of the province against the devastating effect of the outbreak.
The order also stressed that the creation of a task force is necessary to effectively formulate and implement appropriate preventive measures against the entry of ASF, with Lacson heading the task force along with Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena as co-chairperson.
Members of the task force include various livestock and hog raisers associations in the province, the National Meat Inspection Service, Bureau of Animal Industry, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, National Bureau of Investigation, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Trade and Industry, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, and local colleges and universities.
The task force also formed its teams - quick response, quarantine, surveillance, information and education, and campaign legal - to carry out preventive and control measures within the province.
The task force will also enhance the biosecurity practices in all ports of entry and swine production facilities in the province, and coordinate and cooperate with appropriate national government agencies in case of a suspected outbreak.
Lacson yesterday presided over the first meeting of the task force, where they formulated resolutions to intensify its preventive measures.
Decena said local chief executives were also urged to strengthen the monitoring in their areas.
Ryan Janoya, head of Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division of PVO, said that among the recommendations the task force tackled was to come up with an advisory to the mayors on appropriate guidelines if there is a presence of imported meat products in their respective wet markets.
The task force also urges the local government units to intensify their information campaign to the communities, especially to those who have relatives in ASF-affected countries, he said.
He added that the DTI in Negros Occidental was urged to conduct inspection of canned meat products from manufacturers in ASF-affected countries.*
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