No salmonella outbreak in hogs in EV – DA

By RANULFO DOCDOCAN, ABS-CBN Tacloban

Posted at Feb 26 2009 01:09 AM | Updated as of Feb 26 2009 09:09 AM

TACLOBAN CITY -- There is no salmonella outbreak in Region 8, announced Dr. Archie Lluz who is Chief of Regional Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the region.

Lluz said that the results of the laboratory examination on specimens sent to Philippine Animal Health Center at the Bureau of Animal Industry in Manila proved to be negative of salmonella.

The results were identified as "Pasteurella hemolytica" a type of bacterial infection that reportedly causes deaths of swine and is due to bad sanitation and changes in weather conditions.

Pigs with this infection reportedly suffer form loss of appetite, dehydration, fever and diarrhea.

Lluz was referring to the specimens from Tacloban and Babatngon where cases of sick pigs were reported.

In Babatngon, there were 270 reported swine deaths due to this condition.

Swine vaccination were already conducted to avoid the spread of the diseases.

Lluz said however that there remains possibility that some of the dead hogs contracted hog cholera. He said, however that this has yet to be confirmed.

He also said, however, that hog raisers should immediately report sick pigs to local government veterinarians so that necessary measures could immediately be taken.

Never butcher hogs which are sick, Lluz also warned. He said this will only make the spread of the disease easier and wider. Also, the sick hogs must be isolated from the healthy ones, he advised.

He said hog raisiers should always see to it that the environment where the swine are should be sanitary and clean. Lluz said that those affected were those raised in backyard pens and not really those in hog farms.

The agriculture department has received reports of sick hogs and early slaughtering from Babatngon, Tacloban City, Alangalang, Sta. Fe, Palo, Pastrana, Dagami, Burauen, Tabontabon, Lapaz, Mayorga, and Abuyog in Leyte; Sogod in Southern Leyte; Catbalogan, Calbiga, Daram, and Sta. Rita in Samar; and Lope de Vega in Northern Samar.

Agriculture officials in the region reported that hog diseases have spread to 18 towns and one city in Eastern Visayas this month and have affected thousands of backyard hog raisers in the region.

DA officials said that unrestricted slaughtering of sick animals has triggered the spread of swine diseases.

Pork vendors in Tacloban are already complaining. They said there is a marked decrease in their sales because many consumers now refrain from buying pork for fear of salmonella.

There is no salmonella outbreak yet, reiterated DA officials. They also said that this type of infection can be treated by antibiotics.