• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Provincial Veterinarian Office yesterday maintained that Negros Occidental remains African Swine Fever (ASF) free, stressing that hogs that got sick and died suffered from “hog cholera”, which is triggered by extreme heat.
Provincial Veterinary Office head Dr. Placeda Lemana noted that ASF and hog cholera have similar symptoms.
Lemana reported that the culling of sick pigs was reported not only in EB Magalona, but also in other areas of Negros Occidental.
Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson has recently encouraged all mayors in Negros Occidental to strengthen their biosecurity measures against transboundary animal diseases.
Lemana also said that they have to cordon areas affected by hog cholera to prevent its spread, adding that sick hogs are not allowed to be slaughtered.
In his letter to all mayors dated April 27, Lacson ordered local chief executives to mobilize local veterinary or agriculture officers “to conduct 24/7 veterinary quarantine inspection in boundary checkpoints in coordination with the Provincial Veterinary Office and ensure effective disease monitoring and surveillance.”
Lemana also advised local government and hog shippers units to secure a veterinary health certificate for the transport of animals.
Lacson cited “the serious threat of transboundary animal diseases such as Hog Cholera, African Swine Fever (ASF), and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (Bird Flu), which could be aggravated by the extreme high heat index that could compromise the immunity of our livestock and poultry.”
Lemana advised hog raisers to have their animals vaccinated.
Negros Occidental has banned the entry of live pigs and pork related products from Cebu, Panay and Guimaras islands in Visayas, following the detection of ASF cases in those areas.*