THE Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) of Negros Occidental is currently monitoring if the prevailing extreme heat in some parts of the province is already affecting the local livestock and poultry industry.
Dr. Ryan Janoya, head of Animal Health and Meat Inspection Services Division of PVO, said based on their field monitoring there are no significant losses yet among local livestock and poultry farms that can be attributed to extreme heat associated with El Niño phenomenon.
Janoya said PVO, through the district veterinarians and livestock inspectors, continuously reminds backyard raisers to implement measures to lessen possible adverse effects of dry weather to the animals.
“We have been anticipating a period of extreme heat due to climate change every year. Though, losses are not that huge as local raisers are already prepared and mitigating measures were already in place,” he added.
PVO cited swine for livestock and broiler for poultry as most vulnerable to extreme heat.
Since swine has no sweat glands, the animal has difficulty on regulating its body temperature so they need to be bathed frequently.
Broiler, meanwhile, is fast-growing thus, their metabolism is also fast. But, they have weak coping mechanism when it comes to heat regulation.
Janoya said they have been advising raisers to avoid putting their animals in areas with high temperature like those exposed to sunlight.
It’s better to place animals in shaded areas like under the trees, and provide them sufficient amount of water, Janoya said.
“Raisers are also advised to provide additional supplements to animals like multivitamins and electrolytes to be resistant against diseases,” he added.
As El Niño phenomenon is projected to intensify this month, PVO has already briefed veterinarians in different districts and local government units in the province to immediately report animal deaths caused by extreme heat.
Proper reporting is essential as it enables PVO to immediately assess the situation and provide technical assistance if necessary, Janoya said.
Janoya said education and information campaign and provision of technical assistance have been going on. During dry weather, for instance, the measure is being intensified as summer period approaches.
“Unlike the crop sector, poultry and livestock animals are less vulnerable to dry weather as raisers can provide shelter to the animals,” he added.
The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) earlier said it is also validating reports on the damage caused by extreme heat to some rice farms in Cauayan town.
Initial reports showed that these rice farms, which are in different stages, have incurred million worth of damage.
In terms of area, they have yet to conduct validation. OPA is also assessing whether it is already an effect of dry spell.
“Lack of water in this area might be an effect already of the upcoming summer season intensified by El Niño phenomenon,” Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said, adding that OPA is also monitoring other localities in the province.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) earlier reported that a mild El Niño phenomenon has already been affecting some provinces in the country.
The state weather bureau, in an advisory, said a weak El Niño is occurring in the tropical Pacific region and will likely continue until the second quarter of the year.
Pagasa said the phenomenon may cause varying impacts such as warmer than average surface temperature and prolonged dry season.