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Import delays for vet drugs, and feed ingredients feared

The jurisdictional issue between the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) when it comes to whose function it is to regulate animal feeds and veterinary medicine in the Philippines may result in delays in the release of imported products necessary for the survival of local feed industry amid the pandemic, local feed millers said.

In a statement, Philippine Association of Feed Millers Inc. (PAFMI) said the national government must put an end to this jurisdictional issue “as it may result in the delays in the release of imported veterinary drugs and feed ingredients may also occur and lead to unnecessary costs due to this turf issue.”

For the group, which is the largest association of feed millers in the country, it is best that the registration, issuance of permits, inspection and testing of animal feeds and ingredients and veterinary drugs and medicine should be given to BAI, an attached agency to the Department of Agriculture (DA).  

To recall, PAFMI already raised this concern last week after the expiration of Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2013-0026 between DOH and DA which gives BAI the mandate to register veterinary drugs and products.

With the expiration, PAFMI said the registration of the aforementioned products will now be done by FDA pursuant to Republic Act (RA) 9711, which identifies the regulatory capacity of the agency.

Now, PAFMI is saying that the impasse on whether the FDA of the Department of Health (DOH) should take over these functions “is of great concern to the feed milling industry” as the standoff puts at risk the animal industry’s response to the Asian Swine Flu (ASF) and Avian Influenza (AI) that is currently threatening the country’s poultry and hog population.

It said that as this issue remains unresolved, the feed milling sector, veterinary medicine industry and the hog and poultry raisers groups “are left in quandary not knowing which agency to approach for permits and other concerns”.

PAFMI is the oldest and biggest association of animal feed producers in the country with 33 members including San Miguel Corporation, Universal Robina Corporation, Pilmico Foods Corporation, General Milling Corporation, and Vitarich Corporation.

These firms produce some 70 percent of the country’s total animal feed production.

According to PAFMI, the DA and BAI have been performing the functions of registering, testing, inspecting and issuing permits to the animal feeds industry and veterinary drugs and medicine for so many years.

It also said that BAI’s staff of veterinarians and animal nutritionists are well-trained, equipped and have had many years, if not decades, of experience in animal sciences and veterinary medicine.

“It is therefore just appropriate that they be given the authority to oversee these functions permanently,” PAFMI said.

“While the feeds and animal raising industries have the highest regard on the capability of the FDA in overseeing the food and health products industry, their expertise and training are on overseeing and ensuring the safety of food products, drugs, cosmetics  and medicines for human consumption. FDA has no experience, expertise, training nor equipment for testing of products for animal consumption,” it added.   

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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