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DA chief urges LGUs, private sector vets to unite vs. ASF

Author: DA Communications Group | 13 February 2020

“This is the time to unite and be part of a national movement to eradicate the African Swine Fever (ASF),” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said during the International Farmers Summit, on February 12, 2020, at the SMX Convention Center, in Pasay City.

He said the Department of Agriculture (DA) continues to forge strong partnerships with local chief executives, national associations of veterinarians, and hog raisers’ federations to enhance existing biosecurity and quarantine measures to effectively manage, control and contain the spread of ASF in the country.

“It is important to understand the potential impacts of ASF, so we can prepare this early the alternative plans and recovery plans,” he said.

“The ASF outbreak could impact adversely on the country’s more than P400-billion hog industry and ancillary industries if no action is done,” the DA chief added.

“Our message this early is for us to continue to be united as one team every step of the way. Let us harness the lessons of countries that have had this issue on ASF because it is in learning from such experiences that we can elevate the biosecurity measures that we have today,” Secretary Dar said.

He challenged the private sector veterinarians to volunteer and join forces with the DA’s ASF Crisis Management Task Force (CMT) in the monitoring and surveillance, information dissemination, and planning on how to manage, contain, and control the spread of ASF.

“It will be a national movement led by you,” he noted. Since the country’s first ASF incidence in Rodriguez, Rizal was confirmed in August 2019, the DA chief immediately formed the ASF CMT enlisting as members leaders of hog raisers’ groups, meat processors, traders, and other swine industry leaders.

“Our joint efforts was further reinforced when President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed Administrative Order No. 22, and met on February 10, with more than 1,500 local chief executives and officials of national government agencies, enjoining them to harmonize efforts and strictly enforce the DA’s national zoning and movement plan for the prevention and control of ASF,” the DA chief said.

The plan, adopting the DA Administrative Circular No. 12 issued in December 2019, also serves as a guide on the movement protocols and trading of pork and pork products to control the spread of the ASF virus.

“It’s such a complex and dynamic environment that we are in today, but President Duterte is confident that we can handle all these big problems confronting us by enhancing our monitoring and surveillance to significantly reduce the spread of the ASF virus,” Secretary Dar concluded. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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