Some LGUs in Cebu lack veterinarians to help monitor ASF

By: Rosalie Abatayo September 23,2019 - 09:03 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The lack of veterinarians in local government units (LGUs) is among the challenges met by local task forces in Cebu who are monitoring the African Swine Fever (ASF).

In an interview on Monday, September 23, 2019, Dr. Karen Merilles of the Mandaue City Veterinary Office said some LGUs in Cebu province lack of veterinarians, which makes it a challenge to ensure the safety of locally-sourced pork meat.

The Cebu provincial government and the city governments of Cebu and Mandaue have recently declared a total ban on the entry of all live hogs and pork-related products from Luzon following the confirmed entry of ASF in Luzon.

Read: Cebu intensifies watch vs African Swine Fever after DA confirms first case in Rizal province

While supplies coming from other parts of the Visayas and Mindanao are welcome and local supplies from Cebu towns are encouraged, the meat inspectors do not waive the documents needed for the hogs to be available for public consumption.

But according to Merilles, it remains a challenge for them to regulate the inter LGU transport and consumption of hogs because of the lack of animal health professionals who can ensure the safety for consumption of the livestock.

“Definitely, naa gyud mga nagmove diri nga walay mga certificates [from veterinarians]. Mao na among na-intercept and we found out nga walay maka-assist nga vet ug mopirma sa ilang documents,” said Merilles.

(There are hogs that are being moved between LGUs that do not have veterinary certificates. We intercepted some of them and we found out that there is no veterinarian in their locality who can sign their documents.)

Read: DVMF reminds public: It’s safe to eat local pork

A veterinary certificate and shipment permit issued by the veterinarian of the LGU of the place of origin is one of the pertinent documents needed for a livestock to be slaughtered and made available for public consumption.

Among those affected by this lack of veterinary officers in towns are backyard raisers or those who only have up to five hogs in their farms, said Merilles.

“Even if they want to comply with the requirements, they cannot because their towns don’t have veterinarians,” said Merilles.

Merilles said that backyard raisers would need the certification of private veterinarians to have their livestock attended to in the slaughterhouses. /bmjo

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TAGS: ASF, Cebu‬, hogs, lack, lacking, meat, pork, products, veterinarians

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