EIGHT pigs from Negros Island failed to make it alive in slaughterhouses in Cebu—they died inside a truck packed with more than 100 other pigs, and a veterinian theorized they succumbed to heatstroke and the agonizingly long journey.
The deaths of the swine family members happened on Thursday morning, July 23, 2020, and it was Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes who called the attention of the City Veterinary Office after seeing the lifeless pigs lying on the road in Barangay Casili, Mandaue City.
City Veterinarian Dr. Karen Merilles said the pigs may have died because of heatstroke; their deaths could not be a case of African swine fever (ASF) as the other 122 pigs inside the truck were still alive—and noisy.
Merilles further said the journey from Negros to Cebu could have stressed the eight pigs.
The entire province of Cebu remains free of ASF, she said.
Each dead pig weighed between 20 to 30 kilos and cost P4,000.
The person in charge of the delivery presented the necessary documents to veterinary office personnel, who were convinced that the transport of pigs to Cebu was not monkey business.
The crisis brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has made the transport time of pigs from farms to the slaughterhouses longer.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, pigs had been delivered to slaughterhouses within three days.
The cargo transport protocol implemented during the coronavirus crisis has made the transfer of pigs longer, so they reach the butchery in seven days at most, Merilles said.
The Negros pigs were scheduled to be delivered to slaughterhouses in the cities of Mandaue, Cebu and Lapu-Lapu.
Mayor Cortes, while roving the interior barangays, saw the dead pigs. After learning that each dead pig would be sold at a cheaper price, he intervened by calling the veterinary office personnel.
Merilles and her team proceeded to the area. They inspected the pigs and delivery truck personnel’s papers.
Merilles said pigs that died of unknown causes should not be consumed as it is already considered double-dead meat.
This type of meat may cause harm to consumers.
The veterinarian urged the consumers to buy pork at the market as the market sells the ones that had been inspected and certified safe to eat.
Merilles said the deaths of the eight pigs should not worry the public as pork in Cebu still abounds. (KFD)