In partnership with the Department of Agriculture-National Livestock Program (DA-NLP), the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) held the 2023 National Livestock and Poultry Forum on October 25-26, 2023 in Nasugbu, Batangas.

More than 70 industry stakeholders, national government representatives, and provincial veterinarians attended the activity to formulate actionable policy recommendations for safeguarding the industry’s sustainability against transboundary animal diseases.

Also joining the forum was DA Undersecretary for Livestock Deogracias Victor Savellano, who gave updates on the major initiatives of the Department in managing the spread of the African Swine Fever (ASF) and the Avian Influenza (AI) viruses.

“We are on our way to recovery but it is taking too long and too slow. We are now battling ASF like an insurgency war, farm to farm, sitio by sitio, barangay by barangay, municipality by municipality, and province by province. Again, the fastest solution is a vaccine,” he said.

USec. Savellano shared that they have two applicants for the ASF vaccine, which are in various stages of trial at the Veterinary Laboratory Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). 

“For both AI and ASF vaccines, we want to do it fast but we want to do it safe also. This is a balancing act, but we are streamlining the process to expedite trials, approvals, and eventual use,” he furthered.

On AI, Dr. Generoso Rene Romo, Jr. of the Philippine College of Poultry Practitioners explained the guidelines on vaccination, including the identified priority groups for protective emergency vaccination and preventive/prophylactic vaccination. He assured the stakeholders that all three AI vaccines endorsed by BAI are certified and are now applying for Special Import Permits.

Other than the updates on the DA interventions and the Livestock and Poultry Industry Performance, Good Animal Husbandry Practices was also discussed to ensure the implementation of safety standards in feeding, health care, and prevention and treatment of animal diseases.

Dr. Arnulfo Frontuna, Chairperson of the National Sectoral Committee on Poultry and Livestock,  expressed his appreciation for the conduct of the said forum, highlighting its importance in soliciting commitments from both the public and the private sectors.

With the theme “Healthy Food Animals, Stronger Future: Building a Resilient and Sustainable Livestock and Poultry Industry”, the forum served as the culminating activity of the DA’s National Livestock Month celebration. | Joy Camille Luza