As one of the initiatives for this year, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), in coordination with the Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR), conducted their first regional roadshow on Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) in the region at El Cielito Hotel, Baguio City on March 8, 2018.

Accordingly, the scope of the GAHP awareness campaign is to set out the general principles of good practice and minimum requirements for the production, handling, transportation and storage of the animals and its products within the farm in the commercial or backyard rearing/ farming of animals for food use.  Its objectives is to ensure that the produce are safe and fit for human consumption, and to ensure the safety and comfort of farm workers and animals.

The said activity was participated by different organizations and agencies from the provinces of CAR such as the Provincial Veterinary Offices, local government unit (LGU), Agricultural Training Institute (ATI- CAR), Benguet State University (BSU), and other private farm owners.

The event highlighted the updates of the GAHP certification and its application procedures, Philippine National Standards (PNS): Code of GAHP, Republic Act no. 10611 or the Food Safety Act, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Republic Act no. 8485 or Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Different speakers were invited to discuss the topics. Later an open forum with the participants was held.

The BAI explained that as of now there are only a few GAHP applicants, with 116 as of last year since 2001. Most of them are big farms because it is not yet mandatory in the country for small farm owners to apply. However, they are encourage to do so.

Furthermore, it was explained that backyard farmers can apply for GAHP certification as long as they are members of an organization or association and their Internal Control System (ICS) is installed.

GAHP is being introduced to the farmers because food safety has become an ongoing global discussion, making it obligatory to the farmers. In turn, the government supports the said program through various activities such as the GAHP Roadshow.

“Actually, some private companies like Jollibee and Chow King said that they will buy products from GAHP certified farms,” said Dr. Lourdes Ersando, GAHP Focal person.

A video testimonial from Rubina Farm in Bulacan about the effect and importance of the GAHP in their production was played as an inspiration to farmers.

“Through this activity, we knew more about GAHP and surely, we will also share the principals involved to our farmers,” stressed Alfredo Guivac, Municipal Agriculturist II of La Trinidad, Benguet. //Budikey, Aurita S. (BSU DevCom Intern 2018).