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Caravan held to raise awareness versus ASF

The Iloilo-Bacolod Association of Veterinary Sales Representatives (IBAVSR) is holding a week-long caravan in Panay Island since Feb. 8 to raise awareness against the African swine fever, and prevent its entry into the region.

Department of Agriculture Western Visayas’ Regulatory Division chief, Dr. Jonic Natividad, said the IBAVSR-led info drive complements the agency’s efforts in promoting awareness among the various sectors, from animal raisers to retailers, shippers/travelers, handlers, and consumers, who are key players in the fight against the ASF, a press release from the DA said.

Underlining the group’s advocacy slogan, “Western Visayas: Hilway sa sakit kag matinlo nga karne sang baboy!”, campaign posters were installed in strategic locations, including ports of entry, and public markets.

The IBAVSR members also initiated discussions with municipal agriculturists as they rolled out the caravan, from the Dumangas Port to Banate Port, Barotac Viejo Market, Culasi Port in Ajuy, Sara, Concepcion, Bancal Port in Carles, and Estancia in Iloilo province up to the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, and Antique.

The caravan in Panay Island will culminate in the towns of Alimodian, Leon, and San Miguel, Iloilo. A similar activity is slated on March 2 to 4 in Negros Occidental.

Western Visayas bans the transportation of live hogs, processed pork products, and food wastes from ASF hotspots, including Luzon, Mindanao, and Eastern Visayas, to safeguard the P20-billion hog industry in the region.

“We anticipate stronger partnerships with the different sectors as we mainstream the advocacies and awareness of ASF as a dreaded hog virus. Stringent quarantine measures, disinfection, surveillance, and monitoring activities are being done now that we tie-up with the LGUs in the implementation of Bantay ASF sa Barangay, one of the agency’s whole-of-nation approaches to restore the swine industry,” Natividad said.

Alongside the ASF campaign, the Regulatory Division also tightened the stakeholders’ understanding of Republic Act 7556, or the Feeds Act, and RA 8485, or the Animal Welfare Act. DA-WV produced posters and flyers were distributed during the caravan on top of radio campaigns, the press release added.*

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