SOME farms in Rizal province have been placed under quarantine due to a “suspected disease,” and the Department of Agriculture is cautioning the public to be careful in buying and eating pork.
“We also urge consumers to remain vigilant when buying meat and meat products which should be duly inspected by the DA National Meat Inspection Service,” Agriculture spokesperson Noel Reyes said during a press conference in Makati City.
Earlier Agriculture Secretary William Dar said that they are implementing stronger measures to manage, contain and control the incidence of increased deaths among pigs raised in backyards in certain parts of Luzon.
Dar added that they have partnered with the private sector to address the problem and to contain the situation which was reported by the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Consequently, he immediately ordered the revival and strengthening of the Crisis Management Team (CMT) to oversee the planning and implementation of appropriate measures.
Dar added that the private sector will be part of the CMT, which DA will institutionalize along with the local government units (LGUs).
“We want the active participation of the private sector and LGUs so that we can gain their full involvement and commitment, including other technical teams that will monitor and evaluate recent events,” Dar said.
“We assure the animal industry stakeholders and the general public that we are doing everything possible,” he added.
Upon the assumption of Dar, a series of meetings with the private sector, particularly the leaders of various agribusiness industries, has been conducted engaging them once again as major partners in agriculture.
Dar directed the BAI to conduct further confirmatory laboratory tests, including sending blood samples to foreign laboratories, to ascertain the cause of the animals’ death.
Meanwhile, the CMT will work closely with key industry players and local government officials to manage the incident and carry out ground-level operations.
“With this development, we have further upgraded our monitoring and vigilance, including the imposition of stricter quarantine measures all over the country’s ports of entry, airports and seaports,” Dar added.
He also urged all hog raisers, commercial players and those engaged in backyard operations, to strictly observe and practice good livestock practices, including the needed bio-security measures.