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With the aim of discussing developments and plans for managing and controlling the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in the province, Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV-CALABARZON met with city and municipal veterinarians in Batangas on July 16, 2020 at Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center Training Hall in Lipa City, Batangas.

“We, in the Department, acknowledge the support given by the local government units in Batangas to our battle against ASF…The faster we can identify an infected area, the faster we can respond to its spread,” Regional Director Arnel V. de Mesa said, emphasizing the need to protect the province and the region at all costs.

Director de Mesa also expressed how proud he is of the regional office’s immediate response in the fight against this disease. “In CALABARZON, we managed to control the transmission right away, despite being one of the first regions to be hit with ASF,” he added.

During the open forum, Director de Mesa, along with DA-Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ronnie D. Domingo, explained several ASF-related concerns that were raised by the veterinarians. These issues include DA requirements and general guidelines like rapid testing before animal transport is permitted. They also heard recommendations and suggestions on how to stop the spread of ASF in Batangas.

Members of the Unified Batangas Hog Farmers, Inc., agricultural program coordinating officers, city and municipal agriculturists, and some officials and employees of the regional office also attended the meeting. • (MAP, DA-RAFIS)