The Philippine’s status as a country free from foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and peste des petits ruminants (PPR) or goat plague gives the local livestock industry an edge in the international meat and meat products market, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The World Organization for Animal Health, more popularly known as the OIE (Office of Internationale Des Epizooties) has recognized the Philippines as FMD- and PPR-free during its recent OIE 83rd General Session in Paris, France.
The Philippines was recognized as FMD-free without vaccination and PPR-free following the recommendation of the OIE Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases. Both recognitions were based on the documentation submitted by the Philippines to the OIE, and in accordance with OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
The Philippine government, in turn, has the obligation to immediately notify the OIE in case there is a change in the epidemiological situation relating to FMD and PPR in the country.
Concerned agencies also need to confirm that the epidemiological situation has remained unchanged as required under the OIE’s Terrestrial Animal Health Code on a yearly basis.
“With the Philippines being free from animal diseases such as FMD and PPR, we gain a bright prospect of being a choice country to import meat products from, especially in the integrated ASEAN market,” DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.
The Secretary added that the agriculture department has been proactively protecting this reputation with vigilant monitoring activities, including the institution of necessary policies and programs that complement the country’s FMD- and PPR-free advantage.
“Along with the promotion of Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP), and improving animal health services and standard requirements, among other programs, we are doubling our efforts in strengthening control of transboundary animal disease,” Alcala said.
The Department’s Bureau of Animal Industry has also been conducting regular meetings with DA regional field offices to ensure that administrative and technical needs even at the local level are in place to ensure that the country’s livestock industry is fully guarded from the threat of FMD, PPR and other transboundary animal diseases. (Jan P. Dacumos, DA-AFID)
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy