PVMA backs members facing charges over culling in Cebu

CEBU CITY – The Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) has expressed support to five members facing administrative charges filed by Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia against them over the culling of pigs in the province.

In a statement, the PVMA said it “stands with Dr. Paul Limson, Dr. Samuel Joseph Castro, Dr. Miriam Lopez-Vito, Dr. Joshua Cruz, and Dr. Daniel Ventura Jr. in the performance of their duties as veterinarians.”

“The Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA), as the national organization of all licensed veterinarians in the country, expresses its full support for the veterinarians named in a complaint filed at the Office of the Ombudsman based on their role in the ASF situation in Cebu,” the PVMA said.

Castro, Vito, Cruz, and Ventura are among seven officials from the Bureau of Animal Industry named as respondents in the administrative charges that Garcia filed before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

The governor charged the BAI officials for supposedly defying her order to suspend the culling of pigs in areas in Cebu affected with African Swine Fever (ASF).

She also accused the BAI officials of violating the Local Government Code for not coordinating with the provincial government when it enforced ASF-related policies in the province.

Garcia admonished BAI for supposedly failing to conduct thorough tests to make sure that what is affecting some pigs in the province is ASF or other diseases like hog cholera.

At least 18 localities in Cebu have been affected by ASF.

PVMA defended the BAI officials, especially on the issue of culling which they said “internationally accepted practices.”

“PVMA would like to remind its members of our moral and legal obligations as licensed veterinarians. By adhering to all relevant laws and policies of our profession, we guarantee the highest standards of safety and service to our countrymen,” the group said.