Knowledge, attitudes, practices (KAP), and financial losses of buffalo raisers due to Surra among selected villages in Southern Philippines

The study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitudes, practices (KAP), and financial losses of buffalo raisers due to Trypanosoma evansi infection (surra) and its control in Agusan del Sur Province. One-hundred and sixty (160) buffalo raisers from eight villages in four municipalities (towns) in Agusan del Sur, Mindanao, Southern Philippines were personally interviewed. Majority (63.65%) of respondents provided information about surra. Mean knowledge score of 12.54 was quite low to consider the respondents well informed about surra. Financial losses from mortalities among livestock in eight villages (in four towns) in Agusan del Sur amounted to 9.3 million Philippine Pesos (PHP) (US$ 0.2 M) with additional losses for treatment and diagnosis amounting to PHP 657,000 and PHP 229,500, respectively. The estimated mass treatment and diagnostic costs were PHP 2.4 and PHP 1.1 million, respectively. The estimated overall total financial losses was PHP 13.7 million, averaging PHP 1.7 million per village, and an estimated PHP 538 million (US$ 10.7 M) of total financial losses among livestock in Agusan del Sur due to surra. In conclusion, buffalo raisers in Agusan del Sur Province lack adequate knowledge, attitudes and practices to effectively control surra, a disease that has caused high financial losses among livestock in the province.