On vigorously enforcing “1-7-10 Protocol” to manage, contain and control suspected swine disease; result of confirmatory test

National, News

By Estrella Z. Gallardo

Department of Agriculture (DA) William D. Dar at the press conference held at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSMM) Conference Hall on September 9, 2019 read the result of the Confirmatory test on vigorously enforcing “1-7-10 Protocol” to manage, contain and control supported swine disease.

To wit:

Upon receipt of incident reports of a suspected swine disease that occurred in small backyard farms in Rizal province, the Department of Agriculture (DA) immediately directed the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to collect and send blood samples to the World Reference Laboratory in Pirbright, England, which also happens to be the OIE Reference Laboratory for African Swine Fever.

We sent the samples to England to ascertain what really caused the pig mortalities. To date, we believe we have successfully managed the issue, as a misstep could erode the gains and competitiveness of the country’s PhP260-billion-peso swine industry that provides and sustains livelihood of millions of Filipino families, as roughly two-thirds or 65 percent of the industry is contributed by small backyard raisers.

We commend our Crisis Management Task Force (CMTF) on Swine for overseeing the vigorous implementation of appropriate measures– notably the “1-7-10 Protocol” – to effectively manage, contain and control the situation, as well provide timely and accurate information for all stakeholders and the general public.

We also activated and mobilized respective Quick Response Teams (QRTs) at DA Regional Field Offices to implemented complementary measures.

We maintain that meat and meat products – with appropriate NMIS or National Meat Inspection Services seal and veterinary health certificate issued by the DA-BAI and veterinary offices of LGUs – sold in public markets are safe for human consumption.

To complement the above measures, we have issued to date three administrative orders namely:

  1. Guidelines in securing certificate of farm disease-free status in disease outbreak areas. This enables owners to get needed certification from DA-BAI, declaring their farm is disease-free, and not affected by current swine disease in subject area;
  2. Revised guidelines on the local movement of swine, pork, pork products and pork by-products outside disease outbreak areas. This policy strengthens current procedures on said subject; and
  3. Veterinary quarantine movement protocol during animal disease outbreaks/emergencies. This ensures a protocol is in place and to manage, contain and control a suspected swine disease.

While our vigilance continues, we commend our dependable partners in the local swine industry, concerned local government units, the military, and the Philippine National Police for their strong support, cooperation and assistance in the various measures we carried out on the ground.

They have been engaged all throughout this episode – and we will continue to do so – in keeping with the Department of Agriculture’s policy of participatory and consultative decision-making.

Today, we wish to announce the result of the confirmatory Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. It is African Swine Fever positive. We have yet to receive the viral isolation test from UK.

Rest assured that the DA is on top of the situation. We are prepared to respond to all scenarios. We assure the public, there is enough supply of pork in the market.

We are pleased to report that we have already suspended the ground operations in Rizal and will now focus on cleaning and disinfection operations. However, we will remain vigilant and continue to vigorously conduct surveillance and quarantine measures.

Although the disease does not pose any hazard or risk to humans, it is very infectious among pigs, and can easily spread from one farm to another if not properly managed.

Hence, we will strengthen our collaboration with industry stakeholders, LGU and other partners to protect our animal population against emerging diseases, and ensure safe meat and meat products for pork-loving Filipinos.

For swine raisers, we wish to remind them to enhance their biosecurity measures, promptly report any unusual animal mortalities in their respective farms, and avoid swill feeding.

For consumers, we advise them to remain vigilant when buying meat and meat products, and always look for the “NMIS” seal as guarantee.

Let us continue to do our respective part in these efforts.

Kindly report any animal disease incidence to your respective municipal, city, or provincial Veterinary offices, or call/text the DA CMTF at 0995-1329339 or 0920-8543119. (PPCI)

Photo: “Pork and pork products are safe to eat.” This was the joint declaration of Secretaries William D. Dar (Department of Agriculture) and Francisco T. Duque (Department of Health) after partaking different pork dishes at a boodle fight shared by DA and DOH officials, hog stakeholders, and members of the private sector. (Repost from Agriculture Secretary William Dar Facebook page)

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