The National Banner Program Committee on Poultry, Livestock, and Corn (NBPC on PLC) recommended the crafting of a National Biosecurity Protocol and the establishment of DA quarantine facilities for imported animals to strengthen the country’s protection against transboundary animal diseases in their meeting on June 30, 2022. 

The National Biosecurity Protocol would aid in addressing and minimizing possible cases or outbreaks of economically significant animal diseases, such as the African Swine Fever (ASF), Avian Influenza (AI), and Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). 

The National Meat Inspection Service also presented an update on the current inventory of frozen pork and dressed chicken, the number of licensed meat establishments, and the Philippine Animal Industry Management Information System (Phil-AIMIS), which seeks to promote the harmonization and digitization of the livestock and poultry industry data. 

The Dairy Herd Build-Up Program, Dairy Business Enhancement Program, and the Milk Safety and Quality Assurance Program of the National Dairy Authority were also presented to the Committee.

The total inventory of animals currently on milkline was increased by the Dairy Herd Build-Up Program through intensified community-based dairy enterprise development, a dairy goat project, and a buyback program. The Dairy Business Enhancement Program, on the other hand, involves capacity-building projects and the setting up of a Credit Window Facility. 

On the other hand, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) discussed their major programs on genetic improvement, enterprise development, and research for development. PCC’s conservation efforts include the establishment of conservation islands, the establishment of the National Cryobank Facility, and the creation of a Philippine Dairy buffalo breed. Farm clustering and hub formation, increased partnering with cooperatives and private enterprises, and a commodity investment plan by Local Government Units are also included in PCC’s promotion efforts.  

The Bureau of Animal Industry then updated the Committee on the status of the Duck and Beef Cattle Commodity Industry Roadmaps and the current ASF and AI cases. As of June 23,  seven regions are still affected by active cases of ASF, while AI is still affecting eight regions as of June 24. 

With the possibility of new Local Chief Executives at the LGU level due to the recent election, BAI continues to coordinate with LGUs to explain the importance of local ordinances and Executive Orders to mitigate and control ASF.

Pigeon racing in various areas was also identified as a potential cause for the further spread of AI. The movement and transport of pigeons for breeding purposes will now be allowed, while pigeon racing and training activities will remain prohibited.

Suspected cases of another poultry disease called Inclusion Body Hepatitis (IBH) were also discussed. According to the report, although the disease could cause mortality incidents among broilers and layer poultry, IBH could not be transmitted to the human population, and there are current vaccination efforts on farms to boost the immune systems of chicken flocks and prevent the further spread of IBH.

Dr. Rolly dela Torre of the United Broiler Raisers Association also suggested the consolidation of undergraduate and graduate school thesis conducted by various colleges and universities in relation to livestock and poultry industries to serve as references for possible technologies that could further the development of the sector. 

The next Committee meeting of the NBPC-PLC will tackle the development of the Bovine Ephemeral Fever (BEF) vaccine and DA’s preparedness against Lumpy Skin Disease and FMD.