Saturday, September 21, 2019

Negros Occidental remains model for quarantine system

NEGROS Occidental has remained to be a model-province in terms of animal quarantine system implementation, according to the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO).

Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said some 50 quarantine officers from different regions are currently in the province for the three-day National Veterinary Quarantine Services Conference held at the Bacolod Pavilion Hotel until today.

“The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) conducted the said conference to further improve its quarantine capabilities nationwide,” he said, adding that the agency is looking at the practices and measures of Negros Occidental to be replicated in other regions.

The BAI, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, has a separate veterinary quarantine functions.

Through its Regional and Provincial Quarantine Services Divisions, the agency caters to both importation and exportation of animal and animal products in collaboration with the National Meat Inspection Services.

For Negros Occidental, Decena said the audit team of DA, during their visit in Negros Occidental last year, has already recognized the effective quarantine operations of the province.

Through an ordinance passed in 1997, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) has already decentralized its functions, including quarantine services.

“We have already deputized our quarantine officers thus, we are way ahead,” Decena said, adding that the province’s biosecurity has already been “locked-in” due to its paravets and livestock inspectors in every local government units (LGUs).

During the conference, the PVO proposed to BAI the establishment of a quarantine system through administrative order to collect quarantine service fees.

Unlike the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, the national government is not generating fund through collection of fees, which can be a potential source of funds for various livestock development projects and programs.

Decena emphasized that quarantine measures should start from the livestock auction markets towards points of entry and exit like ports to ensure quality of the products and safety of the consumers.

“Animals must be quarantined at the auction markets. Then, it should still pass through another quarantine procedures in ports before it can be given veterinary health certificate for shipment,” he added.

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