Negros Occidental remains free of African swine fever (ASF) but more than 2,000 heads of swine have died of hog cholera in the province since last month. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said he discussed during an emergency meeting on Tuesday the province’s animal biosecurity measures and current hog disease situation with the local chief executives and officials of concerned departments. ‘As of today, it has been confirmed that we are still negative of ASF. Although we have already forwarded our samples to the laboratory of the region because they requested for it. After 18 samples, it still negative of ASF,’ he told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting held at the Negros Residences here. Worst-hit by hog cholera are the areas in the 3rd District in the north, as well as the 4th District in the south, particularly San Enrique town. ‘It’s a loss on the part of the raisers, especially the cause of death is hog cholera, which is preventable. There is vaccine for it,’ Lacson said. ‘I don’t know how many percent that (2,000 heads) is. I don’t think that’s already our volume. We have much, much more number of heads here.’ During the meeting, the implementation of inter-local government unit (LGU) movement regulation of animals was also tackled. ‘Our meeting also discussed the possibility that (ASF) can happen in Negros Occidental. What do we do before that? I will issue an executive order creating an incident management team focused on the diseases of the swine industry,’ Lacson said. He noted that it has been suggested that should ASF hit the province, hog repopulation should stop for three months and animals should only be sold within the source LGU. Negros Occidental, which has a PHP6 billion swine industry, is among the top hog-producing provinces in the country.
Source: Philippines News Agency