THE Regional Advisory Committee for Animal Disease Control and Emergency (RACADCE) convened its second quarter meeting on June 1, 2023 at the Department of Agriculture-Western Visayas Agriculture and Research Consortium in Jaro, Iloilo City.

The meeting aimed to devise strategic approaches to assess and respond to the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks and address associated risks.

The committee, composed of representatives from the government and private sectors, actively engaged in various discussions on ASF prevention and control.

One crucial topic that emerged during the meeting was the need for a comprehensive analysis of how ASF entered the region.

The committee emphasized the importance of avoiding simplistic blame on backyard hog raisers and instead conducting a thorough investigation to identify the true sources of the disease.

To mitigate the risk of ASF transmission through imported products, the committee stressed the reinforcement of checking measures at port areas.

They proposed strengthening monitoring and inspection procedures to prevent the entry of infected animals or animal products.

The committee also highlighted the necessity of assertive actions regarding++ the motorized pump boat crossing from Masbate to Capiz and other coastal areas in the region. Stricter regulations and surveillance were necessary to prevent these water vessels from facilitating the spread of ASF.

Another concern addressed during the meeting was compliance with permits for imported processed products. The committee stressed the need to ensure adherence to permit requirements, guaranteeing that all imported animal products meet the necessary standards and regulations.

The committee endorsed a resolution stating that authorized facilities should generate laboratory results before making announcements or declarations regarding the presence of ASF, ensuring accurate and reliable information dissemination regarding ASF outbreaks.

To address potential supply chain issues and support the poultry industry while maintaining disease control measures, the committee proposed a resolution requesting the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental to permit the entry of poultry products from other provinces in Region 6.

The Regional Advisory Committee for Animal Disease Control and Emergency demonstrated its commitment to combating ASF by deliberating on these critical matters and proposing various strategic approaches. The meeting concluded with a collective understanding of the challenges at hand and a shared determination to protect the region's livestock industry from the impact of ASF.

The committee will continue to hold meetings or convene as necessary to discuss the current situation in their respective locations, reporting on matters such as fatalities and ongoing diseases for monitoring.

The RACADCE's expertise and advice will assist the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Animal Industry in formulating effective policies related to the swine and poultry industry. (PR)