Temperature extremes highlight need for farm biosecurity measures PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 11:38

by Nonoy Lacson

Current  extremes temperature  in the Philippines caused by the onset of the monsoon season and the effect of the El Niño phenomenon will be very stressful to farm animals and this would lead to higher susceptibility to infections, an animal health expert said.

Dr. Allen Valdeavilla, an extension veterinarian of Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company (UNAHCO), said respiratory diseases will be more common nowadays and preventive measures are necessary to prevent possible outbreaks that could negatively affect farm productivity and profitability.

“The abrupt changes in ambient temperature that we are experiencing now highlight the need to reinforce farm biosecurity measures like disinfection and vaccination to prevent the entry or spread of disease-causing microorganisms in a farm,” he said.

Dr. Valdeavilla stressed the need to further educate animal raisers – especially backyard swine raisers who supply the bulk of market pigs – about proper biosecurity measures to help ensure food security and safety in the Philippines.

“We must also be conscious of the fact that humans and other animals are usually the ones that carry these harmful germs, so there must be serious efforts to limit the exposure of farm animals to potential carriers of pathogenic organisms,” he added.

“Disease-causing microorganisms are invisible, and the usual soap-and-water solutions are not enough to disinfect our animal pens and cages,” he said.

“There must be a program on disease prevention, including the regular disinfection of pens and farm equipment once a week and giving appropriate vaccines against diseases prevalent in the area,” he said.

Dr. Valdeavilla said he recommends using Univet’s Major D, a three-in-one disinfectant that also acts as a detergent and degreaser which is safe to use even in the presence of animals. This makes routine disinfection easier because there is no need to remove the farm animals from their pens.

Dr. Valdeavilla said he has been promoting biosecurity measures under UNAHCO’s “Oplan Iwas Disease” campaign which was started in 2009 as part of the company’s veterinary missions to help farmers increase yield and profitability.

Oplan Iwas Disease emphasizes disease prevention measures like putting up perimeter fences to limit access of people and other animals near the pig pens; putting up vehicle and foot baths with adequate disinfectants like Major D in the piggery entrance; and a designated place where buyers can inspect and look at the market pigs away from the pens, among others.

For more details about biosecurity, he said farm owners may visit www.usapangbaboy.com.