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Philippines launches national swine accreditation program

by 5m Editor
31 January 2003, at 12:00am

MANILA - The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is set to launch Friday a national swine accreditation program aimed at getting a better inventory of pig population and upgrade existing breeding stocks especially in the smallholders' farms.

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BAI director Jose Molina said the program is the first step to help the country achieve by 2004 its target of being a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) free country through genetic improvement that can only come about with an accurate inventory and monitoring of existing breeding population.

Initiated by the private sector through the Swine Breeders Association Federation Inc., he said the swine program aims to assure the distribution of quality swine genetics by certifying, accrediting and promoting the sources of quality breeders.

BAI's criteria for accreditation include that a swine farm must be a registered business entity with permit to operate; must have facilities for testing and identification of genetically superior breeds such as testing pens and a backfast tester or lean meter; must have records of lineage of animals, pedigree records, average daily gam and feed conversion rations.

The farm must also sustain appropriate programs for FMD, pseudo-rabies and hog cholera and should issue certificates of vaccination. It must also have a full-time veterinarian.

To be accredited, an applicant must submit duly accomplished form and other documents required to the Secretariat, a pre-evaluation of application by the Secretariat, a farm visit and evaluation by the inspection team of the technical working committee (TWC), a recommendation for accreditation forwarded by the TWC to the BAI Director, and final approval of the accreditation program.

Molina said that of the 1.2 million swine population in the country, some 76 percent comes from smallholder-farms, which more often than not use their own stocks as breeders, thereby getting inferior liters in the process.

But with the accreditation program in place, he said BAI can now intervene in the operations of smallholder-farms and suggest sources of superior breeders, which would not just upgrade the stock of such farms but would also result in better farm efficiencies -- producing more liters at less cost of feeds.

Molina said the Livestock Development Council (LDC) provided BAI with a seed capital of P1 million for the program, which would be boosted by accreditation fees of P50,000 equivalent to two boars.

He stressed the success of the program will pave the way for accreditation programs for other livestock farms in the country.

Source: AsiaPulse via COMTEX - 31st January 2003

5m Editor