NegOcc guv to create team vs hog diseases

(Photo courtesy of DA-6)

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson on Tuesday said he will issue an executive order creating an Incident Management Team that will focus on diseases hitting the swine industry in the province.

This, after around 2,000 pigs died due to suspected hog cholera.

But Lacson said there is no need to declare an outbreak yet.

Lacson met with the mayors from the different local government units in the province and concerned government agencies to discuss the situation.

He stressed, though, that “as of today as we speak, we are still negative from ASF (African swine fever).”

The governor revealed that the provincial government forwarded 18 target samples for ASF testing to the Department of Agriculture regional office “because they requested the samples and it is still negative.”

He further told reporters here that he will be issuing an executive order creating an Incident Management Team “just like we did on Covid 19, this one is focused on diseases of our swine industry in the province.”

“So, looking forward in case we have ASF what do we do? There is a suggestion that we should not repopulate for as long as that disease is around,” Lacson said.

Another suggestion is to stop the hog business for 3 months while another is to limit the business within the area where it is located.

As to the hog cholera that affected several areas in the 3rd and 4th districts, Lacson said “it is a loss on their part, which is preventable because there is a vaccine for that.”

He said the disease mostly affected backyard hog raisers.

The governor also said that the 2,000 heads of pigs that died are not considered massive “because we have much more.”

As to reports that people are avoiding pork because of the hog cholera issue, the governor said there are no findings that animals affected by hog cholera can no longer be eaten.

He noted though that because of this, the price of pork per kilo went down by P10 due to low demand.

He also said the LGUs affected by the hog cholera have put up border controls.

“It is already in place,” Lacson said.

The Capitol also cannot stop commercial hog raisers from supplying areas outside the province as “they have commitments to fulfill,” Lacson said.