Participants of the Animal Health Consultation Meeting with the guest speakers from Bureau of Animal Industry Dr. Anthony Bucad (3rd from Left), Dr. Ma. Gracia Flores (4th from left)
An Animal Health Mission and Consultation meeting with the Local Government Units (LGU) of Busuanga, Coron and Culion, Palawan happened last April 4-6, 2017 at the Coron Village Lodge. The Department of Agriculture MiMaRoPa Livestock Team spearheaded the event.
The Provincial and Municipal Veterinarians of the island municipalities along with Municipal Agriculturist of Coron participated in the mission and consultation. The main goal of the meeting is to update the veterinarians’ offices of the new programs and procedures regarding animal health and other concerns of the livestock program.
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Juanito Pio Lledo, led the meeting by discussing the Provincial Animal Health Program. Dr. Lledo discussed the highlights, challenges and accomplishment of the ProVet’s office last 2016. He has explained that one of the challenges that they experienced last year was the cases of canine rabies in Narra and El Nido and the outbreak of the New Castle Disease (NCD) in North Palawan which they are solving now by series of rabies vaccination and NCD vaccination throughout the province.
Then Dr. Vida Francisco of DA-MiMaRoPa presented the updates of the Regional Animal Health Program. He gave an emphasis on the priority animal disease like New Castle Disease, Hog Cholera and others. He also presented an image of the certificate proving that the Philippines is Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free.
Afterwards, Regional Quick Response Team was discussed by Dr. Hugo Untalan. He explained the process and duties of the quick response team. Dr. Untalan also discussed how the interaction of the team works. He also cited an example of what to do in the case that they found a dead or sick animal in the field.
Dr. Rogelio Peňaflor and Ms. Johanna Mae Damian of the Regional Satellite Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory explained the Proper Collection, Processing and Submission of different laboratory samples. Ms. Damian discussed the different samples that can be submitted to their laboratory like blood, feces, epithelium, skin and urine for live animals and organs for the dead animals. She also discussed the proper attire to wear inside the laboratory. On the other hand, Dr. Peňaflor discussed the proper collection and submission of a specimen like volume and packaging of the specimen to be submitted.
The participants also raised their concerns regarding the different issues they are experiencing. One of the highlights of the open forum is regarding the illegal shipment of animals from nearby provinces. As per Dr. Lledo, one of the problems is the lack of quarantine officers and inspectors in the ports to check if the shipment is legal or not. Another concern is regarding the owners that do not cooperate in putting their animals in quarantine. According to Dr. Lledo if the owner is not cooperating they can present the barangay ordinance stating that the veterinary office is allowed to put animals under quarantine for health reasons. Other concerns are noted and will be forwarded to the responsible offices.
Dr. Ma. Gracia D. Flores of the Bureau of Animal (BAI) Industry presented the Animal Welfare Laws, Policies and Guidelines. She also explained the goal and services of the Animal Health and Welfare Division of BAI and the role of the veterinarians in this service. Dr. Flores also explained how animal welfare affects the economy. “Proper handling makes good sense, it definitely makes good cents.” Dr. Flores said. She also challenged the participants to help and work together for an Animal Welfare Friendly Philippines.
Animal Disease Situation in the Philippines was discussed by Dr. Anthony Bucad of BAI. He presented the advantages and disadvantages on living in an archipelago. The advantage is having a natural barrier for different diseases while the disadvantage is having many entry points for transboundary animal disease. He also mentioned that out of the 5 priority diseases, rabies and hog cholera are the only diseases in the country. Dr. Bucad said that the Philippines have targeted Year 2020 to eradicate Rabies. He enumerated the ongoing programs that the Bureau is doing to prevent the diseases in the country. Dr. Bucad challenged the participants by saying, “Hindi dapat tayo matakot magshare ng info, we need to build trust and confidence, we need active surveillance and we need to encourage industry operated surveillance system para maprevent ang mga disease outbreaks sa bansa.”
(L-R) Rabies Vaccination in Brgy. V, Poblacion, Participants of the Health Mission and Goat Blood Collection in Brgy. Borac
After all the discussions, two-day animal health mission was made. The services offered during the mission are rabies vaccination, deworming and blood collecting. The participants were divided into two groups to do the different services. The first day of the mission was held at Barangay V, Poblacion were in 32 dogs were vaccinated and five (5) swine’s blood were collected. The next day, the team went to Barangay Borac were in 23 Carabao and two (2) cattles were dewormed and 18 dogs were vaccinated. Blood collections were also made into five (5) carabao, five (5) goats and four (4) ducks. After the health mission the animal owners are all very happy and thankful for the free services that the government was giving. “Ipagpatuloy niyo lang po ang pagtulong sa amin. Malaking bagay po talaga na hindi na namin kailangang isipin ang gastusin para sa mga ganito [vaccination and deworming].” (Angela Rei Rodriguez, DA-RAFIS)