The Negros Occidental provincial government is 'proceeding with caution' in reviving the multi-billion peso local swine industry as hog deaths are still being reported in some local government units. Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said on Wednesday among these is La Castellana town, which has not been affected by swine diseases before. 'La Castellana was not affected for the longest time, which somehow can affect the recovery of the surrounding area like the cities of La Carlota and Bago,' he told reporters. Since April this year, some 18,000 swine mortalities have been reported across the province due to various diseases such as hog cholera and African swine fever (ASF). For hog repopulation, the province is adopting the 'sentinel program', a science-based approach to detecting the presence of the ASF virus in a particular area. 'In areas, we can go through sentineling, we can continue to do that. We will see how to address the incident in La Castellana. If possible, we can proceed even in the last month of this year, but in short we will not force the issue, we will proceed with caution,' Lacson said. He said he has told some swine raisers to coordinate with the Provincial Veterinary Office on how to proceed with the repopulation. The governor earlier instructed Dr. Placeda Lemana, provincial veterinarian, to explain well to hog raisers the procedures or strategies to be implemented by the province and not just release the sentinelling guidelines. 'It is also our responsibility to inform the swine industry what we want to do, hoping that we will be able to repopulate by next year,' he added. Based on the guidelines, sentinelling is applicable in affected areas or barangays with zero swine deaths for about 40 days.
Source: Philippines News Agency