THE Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Veterinary Quarantine Services Western Visayas has deployed additional personnel to ports in Negros Occidental to ensure stronger implementation of quarantine measures in the province.
Sulmer Gamarcha, veterinary quarantine inspector of BAI Veterinary Quarantine Services 6-Bacolod Satellite Office, said Negros Occidental was the last province in Western Visayas to have quarantine personnel from the agency.
On August 16, the BAI started to deploy eight personnel in the province assigned at different entry points such as Bacolod-Silay Airport, and seaports at Bacolod Real Estate Development Corp. (Bredco), and Barangay Banago in Bacolod City, and cities of Escalante and San Carlos.
Gamarcha said that even prior to the bird flu outbreak in Luzon, they already had the plan to provide more quarantine personnel in Negros Occidental, adding that the animal disease outbreak had just triggered their immediate deployment.
“We are augmenting the quarantine personnel of the Provincial Veterinary Office in monitoring the entry of poultry and poultry products especially from Luzon,” Gamarcha said, adding that they have not yet intercepted violators since the implementation of the shipment ban.
Amid the lifting of the ban, quarantine personnel are strictly implementing certain conditions like requiring shippers the veterinary certificates and ensuring that the farm-source of the poultry products, especially in Luzon, is accredited.
Gamarcha said they are urging shippers to already comply with the requirements from the point of origin of the commodities they are transporting to avoid possible problems in the local level.
They will off-load or return back to its origin commodities found without shipping permit, he added.
Gamarcha said that with the BAI augmentation, they can assure constant monitoring and stricter surveillance of the “in and out” of animals in the province.
“Given its huge livestock and poultry industry, the BAI has recognized the need further strengthen quarantine measures in Negros Occidental,” he said, adding that they are expecting one more personnel to be deployed in the province.