• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The value of the damage to the Negros Occidental hog industry due to swine mortalities, presently attributed to hog cholera and other diseases, has risen to P88.2 million as of May 29.
Hog deaths further increased to 7,202, representing 6.64 percent of the 108,528 swine population in the province, affecting 1,498 swine raisers in 118 barangays of 14 local government units.
For May 29 alone, the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) recorded 428 swine deaths.
The detection of African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in Brgy. Taculing, Bacolod City, has prompted the concerned local government to cull hogs with a 500-meter radius of ground zero.
Mayor Nicholas Yulo maintains that Bago City remains ASF free, in response to reports that the pigs that tested positive for the ASF virus in Bacolod City came from Bago City.
“The city continues to get samples and the results show that what we have is hog cholera,” Yulo stressed.
The mayor said they are not inclined to believe that the ASF virus came from Bago City, citing the findings of its City Veterinary Office that the pigs bought from one of the piggeries in the city were still “healthy.”
“If it was infected it would have died already, but it was still alive for two weeks.”
Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana said she also believes that there could be “localized infection”, adding that no positive cases were noted by the DA regional office when it completed surveillance and swabbing of hogs in Bago City.
Yulo said that the city government is also strengthening its biosecurity measures by putting up border controls for the past three weeks.
He also stressed that they are not allowing the entry of hogs and pork products from infected areas to non- infected areas.
Negros Occidental has a zoning map for ASF, where areas are color-coded as pink for buffer zones and green for free zones.*