The Importance of Biosecurity
Last May 2021, President Duterte signed Proclamation no. 1143, declaring a state of calamity in the Philippines due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF). “The ASF is responsible for the significant reduction in the country’s swine population by around three million hogs, resulting in more than PHP100 billion in losses due to the local hog sector and allied industries, and leading to increased retail prices of pork products,” the proclamation stated. The declaration allows the national and local government to utilize appropriate funds to contain the spread of ASF in the country and restore the hog business in other affected areas.
Fully supporting the initiative of the Philippine government even before the outbreak of ASF in Q1 2019, Pilmico Animal Nutrition Corporation (Pilmico) launched #M3Time – an awareness campaign that focuses on the importance of biosecurity and highlights individuals’ essential role in the agribusiness industry in combating diseases like ASF and preventing its spread in their communities.
Pilmico, in partnership with LGUs, started activations strengthening relationships with farmers and created actionable guidelines and recommendations based on actual farm situations. Pilmico supported 20 LGUs by providing checkpoint signs and T-shirts for PVO personnel and installing 40 footbaths in Cebu and Bohol.
Pilmico’s sales, marketing, and technical staff conducted 1,716 seminars and visited 3,754 backyard and large farms in 61 provinces through the #M3Time Sugod Backyard information drives. In addition, Pilmico focused its digital communications towards farm-centric biosecurity advisories that have reached almost a million people on Facebook.
#M3Time highlights proper biosecurity via three major pillars: Maglinis, Magtanong, Manigurado—a checklist of actionable items ensuring that the farmers’ growing areas are clean, disinfected, and biosecure.
MAGLINIS. This focuses on ensuring that no disease-carrying pathogens enter the farm by utilizing physical and procedural barriers. Farm location is 3 km away from other farms and at least 500 meters away from the main road and built-in with proper fencing and zones for different livestock activities.
Growers thoroughly sanitize the farm before introducing a new herd. Farm staff sanitizes the tools and equipment, and visitors change into proper clothing when entering the growing area. Producers also strictly monitor farm movement and ensure appropriate disinfection of all the vehicles entering the site. Dualguard 20 and Virbaguard are effective disinfectants for aerial spray, decontaminating empty pens, farm equipment, and creating footbaths.
MAGTANONG. Swine producers are knowledgeable about the cause and symptoms of ASF and the steps necessary to prevent it. ASF is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) that affects domestic and wild pigs that cannot be treated and has no approved vaccine. Symptoms of ASF are high fever, weakness, and redness of the ears, lower legs, and tail. Infected pigs will die within 2 to 10 days. ASF mortality rate is 100% once the pigs are infected. Thus, it is crucial for producers to seek advice from the DA – Bureau of Animal Industry, veterinarians, and their trusted animal production specialists from Pilmico.
MANIGURADO. Producers know not to bring meat and meat products from pork-banned countries as these could be contaminated by ASF. Swill feeding or using kitchen waste as feed for the swine is strictly prohibited as it can introduce pathogens and disease into the swine population. Pilmico feeds are highly recommended because they are safe and made with quality and plant-based ingredients.
Hogs are susceptible to several diseases that can significantly affect productivity; thus, it is essential to be proactive and practice proper biosecurity measures. A sustainable and well-implemented biosecurity system has a preventive impact and enables swine producers to protect their business.
PH Placed Under State of Calamity due to ASF Outbreak. (May 11, 2021). Philippine News Agency. Retrieved August 25, 2021 from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1139854
Pilmico, DA-BAI keep ASF out of PH with #M3Time. Pilmico. Retrieved August 25, 2021 from https://www.pilmico.com/pilmico-da-bai-keep-asf-out-of-ph-with-m3time-2/
Good Practices for Biosecurity in the Pig Sector. (2010). FAO Animal Production and Health. Retrieved August 25, 2021 from http://www.fao.org/3/i1435e/i1435e.pdf
#M3Time by the Numbers. Pilmico.
African Swine Fever Kills. Pilmico.