Sunday, September 25, 2022

NMIS Eyes Strengthened Local Meat Inspection System In W. Visayas

WOMAN.PH

NMIS Eyes Strengthened Local Meat Inspection System In W. Visayas

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The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) is pushing for local government units (LGUs) to have an accredited slaughterhouse to strengthen the local meat inspection system in Western Visayas.

NMIS regional technical director Randy Lontoc, in an interview on Monday, said they provide LGUs with technical assistance in the establishment and improvement of slaughterhouses, and the crafting of the Local Meat Inspection Ordinance to provide penalties for violators.

“The role of NMIS is to strengthen local meat inspection system. It is an indirect way of helping in the prevention and control of ASF (African swine fever),” he said.

Currently, the only Double A (AA) accredited slaughterhouse in Panay island is based in Ibajay, Aklan.

However, he said they look forward to certifying the slaughterhouse of Pototan and Miagao in Iloilo with ‘AA’ accreditation before the end of the first quarter of this year.

The two local government units only have to come up with their Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) manual to be able to get their accreditation.

Lontoc said he was able to talk to mayors of some 30 LGUs in the region to convince them to establish if not upgrade their slaughterhouses and work on their local meat inspection ordinance to avoid backyard slaughtering.

“Once we prohibit backyard slaughtering we can prevent ASF because there is an inspection that is being done at the slaughterhouse. Right there if they have diseases, we can immediately condemn them,” he added.

He added that most of the mayors that he talked to are also receptive to the recommendation to improve their slaughterhouse.

An improved slaughterhouse, he said, will assure their constituents with safe meat, provide income to the LGU and make them compliant with the Food Safety Act.

Once a slaughterhouse has an AA accreditation, it can already sell its meat products outside of the LGU and the region without fear of being confiscated.

Dr. Jonic Natividad, chief of the regulatory division of the Department of Agriculture in Western Visayas (DA-6) and concurrent focal person of the African swine fever (ASF) Task Force, said that with the campaign of the NMIS the public would be encouraged to avail of the services at the slaughterhouses since they are already clean and well-maintained.

“It is part of our holistic campaign against ASF. With this, we can prevent backyard slaughtering. A legitimate slaughterhouse has meat inspectors who can take precautionary measures if they see symptoms not only of ASF but also other animal diseases. At least right at the slaughterhouse, they would know the source,” he added in a separate interview.

Apart from NMIS, the private sector is also active in information campaigns while LGUs are also starting to comply and come up with their ordinances, if not an executive order in line with the “Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABay) program of DA. (PNA)

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