A modern animal disease laboratory is now open to provide accurate diagnosis of major animal diseases and protect the livestock and poultry industries in Central Luzon, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Wednesday.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) in Paraiso, Tarlac City aims to provide advanced service through modern technologies to ensure a healthy and resilient animal sector in the region.
Dar said the laboratory is funded by the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (US DTRA) which provides services and tests needed for trade, disease surveillance, animal health, regulatory, and research. It will also serve as a training facility for veterinary clinicians, students, and professionals.
“Now with this facility here, we are positive that we can prevent and hopefully put an end to the most dreaded animal disease that is the African Swine Fever that has paralyzed the country’s hog industry for more than a year now, and has threatened to demolish the billion-peso industry,” Dar said.
At present, there are RADDLs in Region 2, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro City, General Santos City, and Davao.
Dar said the department is set to establish a Transboundary Animal Diseases Center at the Central Luzon State University in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, which will handle transboundary diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF), avian flu, and other emerging animal diseases.
“We will connect these centers to other laboratories like the RADDL to protect the country’s poultry and livestock industries,” Dar added.