DA: Livestock needs to be tested for virus

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Thursday, January 23, 2014


THE Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 has advised farmers to report dying animals so blood samples can be taken from them to determine if they are sick due to the unusually cold weather or bacteria.

Joel Elumba, officer-in-charge of the DA research and regulation division, confirmed that some farm animals in the mountain barangays if Cebu City died because of the cold weather.

Elumba, also coordinator of the DA livestock and poultry program, said the uplands have been experiencing cold weather in the past two weeks.

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He said the meat of the dead and dying animals were later sold.

This is why it is important to test the blood samples of the animals, he said, to determine that they did not die of bacteria or virus that may pose risks on humans who eat their meat.

Bacteria

The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) also cautioned farmers against eating the meat of farm animals that have been dead for several hours.

NMIS Chief Dr. Romeo Capa said bacteria from the animal’s intestine may spread out so the meat of the animal that has been dead for about 12 hours is no longer safe to eat.

Elumba explained that when an animal is exposed to extreme cold, its resistance goes down and its sense of balance is impaired. This could lead to fever.

An animal with fever loses appetite and may die, Elumba said.

He said farmers should report to their city, provincial or regional veterinarian if their livestock appears weak and unable to eat.

Elumba advised farmers to provide proper shelter, like a hut with four walls, for their animals.

Animal feeds should also be supplemented with carbohydrates-rich food, like corn, to produce body heat and speed up metabolism.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2014.

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