Friday 18 August 2017

DAR Chief: Avian flu confirmed in Nueva Ecija

Government authorities are verifying reports of a new avian flu outbreak outside of Pampanga- this time in Nueve Ecija in the towns of Jaen and San Isidro.

The Bureau of Animal Industry, are conducting tests on chickens at poultry farms in the two towns.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, when asked about the report, cannot provide more details but said that there is an avian flu “presence” in those two farming towns.
Members of the Philippine Army are already in San Luis, Pampanga.It can be seen above two veterinarians conducting safety orientation. The soldiers are expected to help in the culling of 600,000 bired in order to control the avian flu virus( photo credit to Philstar)

The Department of Health will deploy monitoring teams to the 2 towns and distribute the anti-viral medicine oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to those tasked to kill the suspect birds, assistant secretary Eric Tayag said.

Tayag assured the public's fears, saying the spread of the virus remained an animal health problem.

The DAR already asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines to augment its workers in the ground, the department were set to cull some 600,000 birds to stop the spreading of the virus.

Strict quarantine procedures are now imposed in the San Luis and its immediate surrounding towns.

In a briefing yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said farmers may resume transporting their goods by the second week of September.

“We will just finish the 21-day incubation period of the virus. If there will be no similar incident, then we can already clear the shipment to other parts of the country,” Piñol said.

“If there will be no manifestation, we will declare an end to the crisis,” he added

Farmers within the ground zero( San Luis) must follow International protocols which will require them to observe 90 days before they can resume farm operations.

The Agriculture secretary  assured the public that there would be no shortage of poultry products, especially eggs.

“I don’t think that it will be serious because we have enough time to recover,” he said.

Piñol also said that his department has already started deploying biosecurity teams to inspect all farms nationwide.

“We will conduct an audit of all existing farms starting in Pampanga. We will check the disposal of waste, disposition of chicken dung, among others. We want to improve the biosecurity inspection all over the country to prevent another outbreak,” Piñol said.
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