Bird flu strikes anew in Pampanga

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    A week after containing the bird flu incidence in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said the disease was confirmed in an egg-producing farm in San Luis, Pampanga.

    The agency said the highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) strain  A(H5N6) was detected in the area, three years after the same strain affected poultry farms in the same locality in Pampanga which then became the first bird flu incidence in the country.

    The DA, BAI and local agencies implemented integrated disease control measures to arrest the spread of the disease by applying emergency control and surveillance measures around the infected farm in San Luis.

    The team culled a total of 38,701 head of layers and disposed them off properly, employing the protocols under the Avian Influenza Protection Program of the Philippine Government,” said Ronnie Domingo, BAI director.

    Domingo also assured all personnel involved in the disease control measures were strictly monitored by the health office of San Luis and that the A(H5N6) has not been reported and detected among broilers, the primary source of poultry meat.

    He added early reporting, detection and strong multi-agency collaboration paved the way for the rapid and effective response in the management of the resurgence of the disease.

    DA said based on initial field investigations, the presence in San Luis of migratory birds has been associated with bird flu outbreaks in many countries, including the Philippines.

    Domingo said according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, there are 117 important bird areas (IBAs) identified in the country as about 150,000 migratory birds nest and breed annually in Central Luzon.

    Domingo urged poultry raisers in Central Luzon and in traditional IBAs to protect and shield their farms from the entry of migratory birds and to immediately report any unusual poultry mortalities.

    Prior to this latest incident, a total of 12,000 head of quails were depopulated and buried in Jaen, Nueva Ecija last March because of the detection of H5N6 strain of avian flu but the said case was already contained last week.

    When avian influenza first hit the country in 2017, the government culled almost 500,000 heads of layer chickens; broiler chickens; ducks; pigeons; game fowls; native chicken; and quails.

     

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