Negros Occ guv says hog cholera outbreak threatening

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By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Negros Occidental governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Friday that an outbreak of hog cholera is threatening the province.

He told reporters that while only 5.5 percent of the hog population is affected, “there is death every day.”

“It seems to be an outbreak but let us see the trend in the coming days. It is threatening to be an outbreak. I would say hog cholera is really a threat, it is really threatening right now, that is why we have to be careful,” the governor said.

Lacson said that “It is why precisely we have the Incident Monitoring Team. It was created because we would like to know the mortality on a daily basis.”

He confirmed the data he received from the PVO showing that pig deaths reached 5.5 percent as of Thursday.

“I do hope that someday we can control this but just the same earlier, I mentioned that the line of defense now is between local government units (LGUs) and within the LGUs, it will be between barangays that is how extensive it will be,” Lacson further said

“It is unfortunate that we are losing more heads on a daily basis but then again we cannot just let it happen we will still try our best to control it.”

The governor also said that only hog cholera is afflicting the swine industry.

He added that the province will never declare it as African Swine Fever (ASF) unless confirmed by the Department of Agriculture (DA)-6.

“The fact that there is no official report that there is ASF, I still would like to think that it is still hog cholera,” Lacson said.

(As of Friday evening, Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez confirmed the detection of ASF cases in the city.)

Since the hog mortality is happening every day “there is a tendency that the figure will rise. That is the concern right now of the provincial government.”

“We have been defending our province from ASF for four years now, but you know it is a very persistent disease. We are just hoping for the best. We are not taking it lightly. I just hope that it will not devastate our hog industry.”

Earlier, the Negros Occidental Provincial Veterinarian Office reported that pig deaths in the province totaled 5,509, with losses amounting to P66,541,575.