Filipinos show preparedness in handling bird flu outbreak

United in crisis

Agriculture • Sun Aug 13, 2017 07:31 AM  •  173   0
By Manny Piñol
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The dreaded Avian Influenza, Type A Sub-Type H5, is now confirmed to be the cause of the deaths of about 37,000 fowls, mostly layer chicken, in San Luis, Pampanga.

The AI that hit the country for the first time has been reported to be the strain that is not transmitted from chicken to humans.

Although samples for confirmatory tests were sent to Australia, none of the farm workers and residents of San Luis living near the area where the outbreak was recorded since April of this year have not shown any signs of illness.

The Bureau of Animal Industry has declared a quarantine zone within a one kilometre radius of the farms where the outbreak was confirmed.

An estimated 200,000 birds - chicken, ducks, quails, pigeons and fighting roosters - are now being culled and will be buried in the ground.

Another 7-kilometer radius has been declared as a Controlled Zone where no fowls, eggs or other products could be brought out.

About 100 Quarantine Officers have set up stations in all roads from San Luis backed up by officials of the provincial government and the Philippine National Police.

All vehicles coming out of the area will be sprayed with disinfectants to ensure the containment of the virus.

After all the birds in the San Luis area have been culled, Quarantine Officers will disinfect all the six farms where the outbreak occurred.

After 21 days, Sentinel Birds will be deployed in the affected farms to serve as the basis in determining whether the virus is still present in the area.

If the Sentinel Birds will not show signs of the disease, the Quarantine Restrictions will be lifted after 90 days.

Governors and Mayors of Provinces surrounding San Luis, Pampanga have been asked to establish Quarantine Stations to regulate the entry of poultry and poultry products into their areas.I have ordered the ban of the shipment of fowls from Luzon to other parts of the country.

However, the transhipment through the Manila International Airport of chicks, hatching eggs and other fowls from other countries coming into Luzon or other parts of the country will be allowed with the advisory that stringent quarantine protocols must be observed.

This means that chicken brought in from the United States intended for shipment to the Visayas or Mindanao may not be taken out of the boxes and must be loaded directly into the connecting flights.

Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda has announced that a State of Calamity has been declared in the province.

Poultry farmers whose chicken will be culled and eliminated will be compensated in the amount of P80 per head.

A loan package is also being prepared to be made available to the farmers to start all over again once the area is cleared of the virus.

This is the first time that the country has recorded the presence of the Bird Flu virus and I am calling on all Filipinos to please help government contain this crisis by cleaning up their farms and closely monitoring their chicken for any signs of disease.

Please report any unusual behaviour of your poultry animals to Enrico Garzon or @mannypiñol or your nearest community veterinarian.

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