Friday, November 7, 2008

Bukidnon on alert vs. hog cholera

Bukidnon's provincial veterinary officials are on "red alert" against the spread of hog cholera, a swine disease haunting backyard raisers in neighboring Cagayan De Oro and Misamis Oriental this week killing at least two thousand pig heads.

The Provincial Veterinarian's Office has ordered "close" inspection and supervision along entry points to the province, especially in Alae, Manolo Fortich, according to Dr. Nancy V. Diez, provincial veterinarian.

"We are closely monitoring and the municipal officials are doing surveillance
work," Diez told this reporter via telephone on November 5. She said they have
already advised all the municipal agriculture officers (MAOs) to monitor
incidence of swine infection of the disease in their areas."

We have warned especially the towns along the province's boundary with Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental, to report immediately if there are such cases," she said. There will be strict inspection at the checkpoints, she said, with inspectors asked to check the National Meet Inspection System certificate and the Veterinary Health Certificate from the points of origin of all mean and swine entering or passing the province.

The hog cholera outbreak in Cagayan de Oro has turned from "worse to "epidemic proportions" killing at least 2,300 pigs in the past five days, Dr. Perla Asis, chief veterinarian of the Cagayan de Oro City Veterinary Office (CVO), as quoted by The report also quoted Asis to have said on November 4 that if the casualty figures will go up in the next 10 days, they will declare the hog virus as "pandemic".

Dr. Rossell Vasaya, Bukidnon PVO in-charge for hog cholera told this reporter earlier Bukidnon is still out of danger. She said the disease will largely infect swine by backyard raisers since commercial raisers vaccinate their animals.

But she cited Bukidnon has more hog heads in backyard industry than those raised by commercial scale. As of December 2007, the province has 152,000 in backyard piggeries while only 18,000 heads in commercial piggeries.

Both veterinarians, however, admitted that the province is still not capable of controlling the spread of the disease if in case it will break here since there are still no funds to buy anti-hog cholera vaccines. As of September 15, 2008, only 2,015 heads of swine were vaccinated out of the 152,000 heads estimated as of December 2007.

Diez said they were advised to buy the vaccines to help protect backyard raisers.Backyard raisers are those who tend to less than 10 hog heads.

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