Negros Occidental loses P102.5 million to swine deaths
BACOLOD CITY — Swine deaths continue to affect the multibillion-peso hog industry of Negros Occidental, with losses now reaching P102.5 million, local authorities have reported.
The number of hogs who died of swine cholera and other diseases has reached 8,849 as of Thursday, affecting 1,697 hog farmers from the second to the fifth congressional districts of Negros Occidental, report from the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) showed.
The pig deaths represent 8.15 percent of Negros Occidental’s hog population, the PVO said.
San Enrique town has the most number of hog deaths with 2,471, followed by Valladolid (1,758), Bago City (1,251), Pontevedra (863), EB Magalona (832), Pulupandan (677), La Carlota City (296), Manapla (234), Binalbagan (150), Silay City (104), Cadiz City (83), Murcia (78), Talisay City (46) and Hinigaran (6).
The recent hog deaths were compounded by the entry of the African swine fever (ASF) in the southern town of Pulupandan, prompting the provincial government to isolate an area in the municipality where the first ASF case was detected on May 30.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said they will observe the case for 15 days, and if there would be no other ASF case in the province, then they could say that the reported ASF case in Pulupandan was isolated.
Aid to farmers
If the infection spreads, the province will proceed with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) protocol that places under surveillance and restrict movements of hogs within a 7-kilometer of the infected area, Lacson said.
So far, the BAI only confirmed one death due to the highly contagious ASF in Negros Occidental, based on a blood sample from a pig in Barangay Mabini in Pulupandan.Negros Occidental, which has a P6-billion hog industry, earlier barred the entry of live pigs and pork products from Luzon, Mindanao and most of the provinces in the Visayas, including neighboring Negros Oriental, Bacolod, Cebu and Iloilo, which all have confirmed cases of ASF.
Mayors Jilson Tubillara of San Enrique and Nicholas Yulo of Bago City on Thursday said they were preparing to provide assistance to the affected hog farmers in their respective localities.
San Enrique farmers with one to four dead pigs would be given P3,000 in assistance and those with five and above hog fatalities would receive P5,000 each, said Tubillara.
Bago City would also provide financial assistance to affected hog farmers but the amount was still being determined, Yulo said.
Yulo also appealed to hog raisers to dispose of their dead pigs properly, following reports that some dead pigs had been thrown into the city’s farm irrigation system.