The Agriculture Department on Wednesday asked the Crisis Management Task Force to vigorously implement the so-called “1-7-10 Protocol” to contain the spread of a “suspected disease” that inflicted several swine farms.
Industry partners and stakeholders agreed to provide assistance and implement technical support measures, especially those from concerned local government units.
“We assure the general public that all necessary quarantine measures are in place,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Under the 1-7-10 quarantine protocol, hogs within the one-kilometer radius of a suspected outbreak will be immediately culled and buried and the area will be disinfected. The next 7-km radius is considered the surveillance area for testing and sampling. Within the 10-km radius, authorities will strictly monitor the transport of animals.
There were reports that a number of pigs in Rizal and Bulacan suffered from loss of appetite, vomiting and sudden death due to a suspected disease. The Agriculture Department has yet to verify if the incidents are related to the African swine fever.
The department said the protocol involves measures such as continued surveillance of swine farms, particularly backyard operations; and guidance to farmers on how to implement good husbandry practices, including bio-security measures, to promote good animal health.
It said it was strongly coordinating with the Finance, Transportation and Interior and Local Government departments; the Philippine National Police and the military; and concerned provincial governors and city/municipal mayors to strengthen the monitoring and quarantine services.
The protocol was meant to ensure that the suspected pathogens will not spread any further, it said.
“Secondly, all meat establishments are required to secure their respective permits from the National Meat Inspection Service or respective LGUs,” the department said.
It assured the general public that fresh meat and meat products sold in markets are safe for human consumption.
Partners in the private sector also assured that there is enough supply of meat in the market.
“We continue to conduct field surveillance of areas outside the affected areas. Our field reports show that all of the backyard hog raisers, who experienced the suspected disease, practice swill feeding. It is being eyed as one of the causes of the suspected disease,” Dar said.
Swills are considered solid waste and its handling, transport and disposal are regulated by the Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003).
Dar said the transport, handling disposal and sale of swill without proper permits and not in accordance with the existing regulations are unlawful.
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