SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur—Animal health personnel from the Department of Agriculture-5 (DA), National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and different local government units meet for consultation regarding Animal Disease Emergencies (ADE) on October 18, 2019 at the Operations Building here.

ADE are livestock diseases of high consequence or foreign origin that can cause severe production losses, illness and/or death in animals and possibly humans. These diseases would have serious economic consequences and could be devastating at the local, state and national level.

This is in preparation for the possible entry of African Swine Fever to the region if not addressed or prevented.

Although the Regional Quick Response Team was already mobilized, the Regulatory Division under Rose Imperial deemed that a consultative meeting be conducted to stop the spread of the ASF.

Although it poses no direct threat to human health, ASF can devastate the entire swine population. In its most virulent form, it is 100 percent fatal to the animals who contract the virus.

According to RQRT Coordinator Dr. Josefina U. Bañadera, “it’s critical that we should be ready for the possibility that ASF could enter our region. That’s why this emergency meeting has been convened – to assess where we are now – and to determine how we can work together in a coordinated and direct response.”

According to NMIS Chief Dr. Alex Templonuevo, “It is crucial to know the role of pork and pork product traffic through production and market chains.”

Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Dr. Edgar R. Madrid urged the team that to be vigilant and aggressive in their commitment to protect the health and safety of the public and the swine industry through strong partnership with LGUs and the private sector. Other topics discussed include updates on the activities of RQRT, BAI Quarantine Rules, NMIS updates, and ASF Contingency Plan and Disease Incidence Reporting System. (jaysonmgonzales)