DA: Poultry supply stable despite Newcastle disease

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The country will have ample poultry supply despite the spread of the Newcastle disease, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday.

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Newcastle is a highly contagious and fatal airborne disease of poultry and wild birds. It attacks the lungs, nervous and respiratory systems.

Agriculture Undersecretary for Livestock Jose Reaño said the country’s poultry supply is stable because the inventory is high.

“Marami ang supply so there’s no worry about that,” he told The Manila Times.

The official said Newcastle disease is triggered by a sudden change of temperature. Its spread was blamed on cock owners and stakeholders who transport their animals to other regions that are contaminated with the disease.

“It’s normal, almost every year we have isolated cases, just like flu. Only this time, the disease spread because of continuous movements, it started in fighting cocks so the virus spread in other farms,” Reaño said.

He said that affected birds and fowl are easy to identify.

Reaño said the DA is close to controlling the spread of the virus since the poultry, bird raisers and game cocks aficionados are already aware of the disease.

He advised bird raisers to follow the guidelines on vaccinations.

According to Reaño, the DA and the Bureau of Animal and Industry are monitoring the disease.

Last year, there were a million cases of Newcastle disease and 12,000 birds died because of the virus.

Reaño said the disease started in Tarlac then spread to Pangasinan, Bulacan, Zambales, Laguna, Quezon and some parts of Quezon City.

The disease is not transferable to humans.

Although the DA is close to controlling the disease, Reaño said the government will not be complacent.

“We should always be aware that it is still there. So until we can see that the disease has been contained, we will not be complacent.”

He advised poultry raisers to screen people visiting their farms, vaccinate their fowl and to stop transporting birds, especially fighting cocks.

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