ATI continues massive drive on bio security measures vs. ASF

THE Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas will continue to capacities barangay bio security officers (BBO) in the region in the monitoring and surveillance for possible African swine fever (ASF).
“We will continue conducting training of (village)
bio security officers because there are areas and provinces that are in green zones. So it is one way of being proactive by establishing bio security officers in the barangay to monitor and conduct surveillance of our cases,” said ATI Western Visayas regional director Mary Ann Ramos.
Ramos said the conduct of the Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay) Training on Biosecurity, Surveillance
and Sample Collection for ASF Control for BBO is their project under the ASF program to prepare local government unit (LGU) following the Luzon outbreak in 2019.
All LGUs in the region have trained municipal agricultural extensions or technicians and limited BBOs who are expected to cascade their learning to the barangays.
Last year, ATI trained 25 batches of village officers with 30 participants per batch.
Its last training for 2022 was for 180 BBOs of Iloilo City upon the request of the local government after it recorded its own ASF case.
“Usually it’s one representative per city or municipality to reach cities and municipalities in the region. Iloilo City is a special case,” she said.
During the training, participants are taught how to properly collect specimens for testing and other bio security measures that should be implemented on the ground.
Aside from BBO training, the ATI upon the request of the provincial government of Iloilo has conducted meat processing training for 90 hog growers from three municipalities tagged as red zones and six towns in “pink zones” on Dec. 16-18, 2022.
“Since there are restrictions on the movement of live animals they prefer to teach hog raisers
how to process because once it is processed, it will stay longer,” she added.
ASF cases have been recorded in 11 towns of Iloilo, Iloilo City, and in Buenavista, Guimaras.
“Red” zone includes municipalities or cities with confirmed outbreaks of ASF confirmed cases. The “pink”
or buffer zone is “demarcated immediately around the red zone,” “yellow” or surveillance
zone is situated adjacent the “pink zone” and considered as high risk, “light green” or protected zone is considered as moderate risk areas and “dark green” or free zone where risk is low. (PNA)