Agri office urges livestock care amid heat

Veejay Villafranca for USAID Photo

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The extreme weather conditions battering the province of Iloilo and the rest of Western Visayas are taking a toll not only on humans but also on animals.

The Iloilo Provincial Agriculture Office (PAgrO) has reminded livestock farmers to provide proper shelter and care for animals during extreme weather to prevent illness and ensure their safety.

“Animals should not be left to roam freely. They must be kept in shaded areas or well-ventilated areas to manage them easily and protect them from the harsh weather conditions,” PAgrO head Ildefonso Toledo told Daily Guardian on Friday, May 17.

Toledo also suggested regular checks on animals to monitor their condition and provide timely intervention if needed.

For Daryl Tabuada, Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) head, livestock raisers should ensure their animals have access to plenty of water as the intense heat from the El Niño phenomenon continues.

“We need to find shaded areas, especially when it gets extremely hot. For example, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., they should be in shaded areas,” Tabuada said in an interview with RMN Iloilo.

Tabuada’s advice came after a viral video on May 11 showed a group of hikers encountering a cow lying on the ground and struggling to breathe in Igbaras, Iloilo, believed to be suffering from extreme heat and dehydration.

Based on PAgrO poultry and livestock data, at least 605 chickens and one goat in the province have died due to the effects of the El Niño phenomenon and the ongoing dry season, which Toledo described as “negligible data.”

Toledo explained that they do not have records for carabaos and cattle since there have been no reports from the local government units.

“Assistance is underway. We are yet to present our proposals to help our affected farmers,” he added.