Bacolod City – African swine fever (ASF), which was blamed for hog fatalities in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, is now under control, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Placeda Lemana declared over-the-weekend.
Lemana said they have not monitored resurgence of the ASF, after its detection in September, following the conduct of testing and culling of swine affected by the deadly animal virus.
Negros Occidental, which has a P6-billion swine industry, has recorded almost 18,000 hog deaths in 20 areas since April, with losses estimated at around P200 million.
Lemana said they have been conducting surveillance and regular monitoring without any let up, with the help of paravets, and continue to collect blood samples from swine for laboratory testing.
ASF cases were recently reported in the cities of Kabankalan, Silay, Victorias, and Bacolod, as well as the towns of Pulupandan and Hinigaran.
Lemana admitted that they were receiving reports that some backyard hog raisers are now engaged in pre-sentineling without coordinating with the Provincial Veterinary Office, where some of the hogs survived, while others got sick.
Those who got sick hogs indicate the need for the daily disinfection of pig pens, she added.
Lemana advised hog farmers to coordinate with the PVO before returning to raising pigs.
The provincial government is eyeing swine repopulation by next year.
Despite deaths of thousands of hogs, Lemana reported that there is no shortage of pork supply in Negros Occidental, as last month, commercial hog raisers even sold more than 2,000 pigs outside the province.
She however noted that in some areas in Negros Occidental, including EB Magalona, Talisay City, and Bacolod City, pork is being sold between P300 to P315 per kilo, while it sells at P230 per kilo in Sipalay City.
Lemana also announced that the financial assistance of P2000 per family of hog raisers affected by the swine diseases will soon be distributed by the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, stressing that the delay was blamed on the lack of submitted documents. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)