LA TRINIDAD, Benguet: The Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVET) recently confirmed a total of 91 cases of poultry afflicted with the so-called Newcastle Disease affecting chicken and birds in the province.
The OPVET said fowls and birds tested positive for Newcastle Disease came from almost all of the towns here, except Atok and Buguias during the past months.
The Newcastle Disease virus produces symptoms of respiratory distress, rasping and twisting of the neck or stargazing in affected poultry and birds.
Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan urged those who have animals observed to have the unusual sickness to immediately report this to their office for assessment.
Those suspected to have contracted the disease could still be contained with the administration of vaccines; further delay would lead to death, Tiongan said.
Since the start of the vaccination in January this year following the outbreak of the viral disease, OPVET has vaccinated a total of 145,434 chickens.
The recently-affected barangays are Sinacbat, Ampusongan and Poblacion in Bakun – 15 fowls; Karao, Poblacion and Daclan in Bokod – 17 fowls; Poblacion, Virac, Ampucao, and Ucab in Itogon – 8; Pacso and Duacan in Kabayan – 7; Paykek, Labueg, Datakan, Taba-ao, and Pudong in Kapangan – 11; Sagpat, Kibungan – 1; Beckel, Wangal, Poblacion, Balili, Pico, and Bahong here – 17; Colalo and Cabiten in Mankayan – 2; Poblacion and Pappa in Sablan – 5; Tadiangan, Nangalisan and Camp 3 in Tuba – 7; and Central in Tublay –1.
The disease was contained in areas earlier found to have cases of infection after intensified vaccination, Tiongan said.
The OPVET is continuously collecting blood sample specimens for further laboratory tests at the Animal Disease Diagnostic Reference Laboratory based in Manila through the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit-Cordillera (DA-RFU-CAR).
Aside from poultry and other fowls, chicken dung, which is commonly transported from the lowland areas as a farm input, may also be a carrier of the disease, said Tiongan. If these are regulated along major entry points, the risk may be reduced, she stressed.
Tiongan expects the incoming provincial officials to pass the pending quarantine ordinance to reinforce what the DA- RFU-CAR has started in regulating the entry of fowls and other related commodities.
The provincial board has crafted an Animal Quarantine Ordinance which likewise regulates the entry of poultry and chicken dung, but this was temporarily shelved during the May elections.