Philippines

Dry spell could cause heat stroke among livestock -- Prov’l Vet

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KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Apr. 22 (PIA) -- Farm animals may also suffer from heat stroke, an official of the Provincial Veterinary Office here warned.

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Flora Bigot emphasized that like humans, farm animals may also may also be endangered if left unprotected against the searing heat brought about by the weak El Niño.

Heat stroke could kill, she added.

“Farm animals such as carabaos and cattle should be kept under shades from 9:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon,” Bigot said.

“Provide the animals enough drinking water and bathe the animals at least once a day to keep their body temperature down.”

Instead of allowing the livestock to graze in open pastures from the mentioned time, animal owners should resort to cut-and-carry method of feeding.

This means, she elaborated, that owners have to cut grasses and bring these to the animals while the livestock are in the shaded and cool place.

“Pigs should be bathed twice a day and provided enough water to drink,” she added.

In case of heat stroke, affected animals should immediately be bathed in cold water and urged to drink a lot of water.

“Mix 2 tablespoons of dextrose powder to each liter of drinking water. Oral rehydration solution (oresol) or hydrite may also be used,” she continued.

The mild El Niño , which started around December of 2014 , has already caused over P156.6 million damage to crops, according to the latest report from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.

Affected crops include corn, rice, cassava, high value crops and vegetables.

Earlier this week, Orlando Tibang, the irrigation management officer of National Irrigation Administration – South Cotabato confirmed that water levels in dams in province have also reduced.

“Water in many communal irrigation systems in the province have been depleted due to the mild El Niño,” he said.

In Barangay Liberty , in nearby Tampakan town, 70 percent of households lost sources of drinking water.

The situation has led the local government unit with support from the provincial government of South Cotabato to ration water to the affected families.

The provincial government has not yet declared a state of calamity. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)