Losses from hog deaths in Negros Occidental top P63 million
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines — While Negros Occidental has not recorded any African swine fever (ASF)-related death among locally grown pigs as of Tuesday, the province had already logged at least P63.5 million in losses due to other hog diseases, the provincial veterinary office said.
Dr. Placeda Lemana, the acting provincial veterinarian, said their records showed that 5,252 pigs that died from April 1 to May 22 succumbed to hog cholera, pneumonia, heatstroke, and other diseases.
The number represents 4.84 percent of the province’s pig population and affected 1,072 raisers.
Lemana said authorities, however, had not ruled out the possibility of ASF cases in Negros Occidental since the symptoms of other hog diseases were almost the same with swine fever.
She said the provincial government had submitted to the Department of Agriculture (DA) blood samples from more pigs for testing last Friday. The results are expected to be released within the week.
Hog cholera in Negros Occidental was detected through rapid antigen tests.
According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), the symptoms of ASF and hog cholera, both highly contagious viral diseases, are similar, such as high fever, weakness or lethargy, loss of appetite, rashes or hives, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The majority of swine deaths in Negros Occidental were recorded in San Enrique town with 1,936, followed by Valladolid (936), Bago City (852), Pontevedra (461), Pulupandan (374), EB Magalona (268) and La Carlota City (268).
The number of pigs that died in San Enrique, valued at P22.1 million, represents 71.92 percent of the town’s hog population and affected 406 hog raisers, the provincial veterinary office reported.
On Monday, Vice Gov. Jeffrey Ferrer, who is the acting governor, banned the entry of live pigs and pork-related products from nearby Negros Oriental in a bid to prevent the spread of ASF.
Ferrer, who assumed the duties and responsibilities of Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson while the latter is in the United States, issued a memorandum three days after the BAI confirmed that swine deaths in Purok 1 and Purok 2 at Barangay Maayongtubig in Dauin, Negros Oriental, were caused by ASF.
Last week, Dauin Mayor Galicano Truita, through Executive Order No. 2023-19.1, ordered the Municipal African Swine Fever Task Force to conduct immediate culling of pigs in the affected districts of Maayongtubig, including those within a 500-meter radius to prevent the spread of ASF.
He also imposed a temporary ban on the entry and exit of pigs, including fresh and frozen pork products, from Dauin.
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez also ordered border controls and inspections to stop the entry of ASF into the city.
City legal officer Romeo Carlos Ting Jr., in an interview on Monday, said pork sold in Bacolod markets must come with sanitary inspection certificates to trace their sources.
“All pigs must be brought to the Bacolod slaughterhouse to ensure that the meat is safe for consumption,” Ting said.