Turf issue mars fight vs diseases


    Feed millers warned the unresolved issue over which between the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) has the authority or control over veterinary medicine and related products may hamper the government and private sectors’ response to the Asian swine flu (ASF) and avian influenza (AI) virus that continue to infect the country’s hog and poultry population

    Nicole Sarmiento-Garcia, president of the Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc (PAFMI) suggests the extension for five years the validity of Joint Administrative Order 2013-006 which allows the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to “register veterinary drugs and products, veterinary biological products intended solely for animal use and license the establishments manufacturing, distributing, exporting and selling the same.”

    The JAO expired in 2018 and left the animal feeds and veterinary medicine industries needing guidance especially with imports nearing arrival and requiring government approvals.

    PAFMI also recommends all animal feed inputs especially vitamins and minerals be placed under DA supervision since the animal industry has always been part of the DA’s technical and administrative management coverage and is a major contributor to the country’s agricultural output.

    Garcia said this proposed extension would afford both departments the time to define the roles and responsibilities they may take for the purpose of establishing authority over the concerned industries.

    According to PAFMI, the BAI may have its limitations but it has so far managed the ASF and avian influenza problems with considerable success and has put place protocols that helped minimize the ill effects of these diseases on the hog and poultry industries.

    The group said responses to these diseases may be disrupted if the responsibility for registration, certification and testing of veterinary products remains unsettled.