WITH SAFETY in the forefront of the province, starting February 1 Benguet is set to fully enforcement its new animal quarantine law.
Under the new law, penalties violations and regulatory fees will be imposed to livestock entering the province.
A veterinary shipping permit will also be needed by traders name and address, the origin of the shipment and the destination, identification of animals being shipped in and out of the province and quantity.
The new law approved last year is anchored on ensuring the public health and safety to minimize the occurrence of animal diseases.
Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said they have deployed 30 employees in the main quarantine checkpoints together with the assistance of the Philippine National Police.
Tiongan said Benguet and Baguio City are known as market destination where large volume of livestock and poultry commodities are shipped through the year.
Businessman and traders engaged in the livestock business who will traverse along the main entry points of the province are required to have animal health certificate and veterinary shipping permit.
Tiongan added they are not after the regulatory fees but the new law aims to prevent or minimize the entry of trans-boundary animal diseases, which may affect the livelihood of local livestock raisers.
"We must consider that it’s not all about the fees, the purpose and main objective are to adopt quarantine regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases within the province," Tiongan said. "For the first week of implementation, we expect complaints from dealers since the formulation of the ordinance back in 2015. However we must also consider the general welfare of the public."
For every checkpoint, the veterinary team leaders will be deployed in the five main entry checkpoints along the entry roads of the province: Palispis-Aspiras Highway (Marcos Highway), Naguilian Road (Sablan), Kennon Road (Tuba), Benguet-Nueza Viscaya Road (Bokod), and Mt. Ptovince -Benguet Road-Bangao (Buguias).
Checkpoints in Tubao-San Pascual Road (Tuba), Benguet-Ilocos Sur (Mankayan) and other entry points going to the province will also be established.
The province will recommend the confiscation of the livestock which did not pass through the officially designated quarantine areas in the province. The law applies to all livestock and poultry dealers and traders, handlers of meat and meat products and it's by products in the province and those to enter its area.
Violation of the ordinance include a fine of P2,000 imposed for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 for the third and succeeding offenses or imprisonment not more than six months.
Items that did not pass thru the official designated quarantine areas in the province will be confiscated for documentation and proper disposal account of the violator and be meted with corresponding penalties. The confiscated goods will also be disposed within three days upon confiscation at the account of the violator.
Aside from the veterinary office, livestock animals are being checked by the National Veterinary Quarantine Service under the Bureau of along the three thorough fares in Kennon road, Poyopoy (Tuba) and Banangan (Sablan).
The new ordinance is in compliance to the Department of Agriculture directive dated September 5, 2015 stating that in 2016 the DA field office-Cordillera will no longer hold the operation of quarantine operations.