AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has ordered the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to conduct a random test in a poultry facility in Nueva Ecija to confirm the presence of avian influenza in the province.
According to Piñol, a poultry farm owner in Cabiao has slaughtered thousands of his chickens but it wasn’t clear if the chickens were infected by a flu virus.
“I received a report today, Tuesday, about the culling of at least 40,000 birds in a farm in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija,” Piñol said in a statement.
“I commend the farm owner and the local vetrinary officials for their vigilance. While waiting for confirmatory tests, they took it upon themselves to act. This is the kind of spirit that we need,” the Agriculture chief added.
Despite this, Piñol said there is no reason for the public to panic, noting that his agency “is in full and complete control and necessary safeguards are in place.”
“There is therefore no reason to be alarmed,” he said.
He said the Bureau of Animal Industry will now be implementing new protocols in handling cases like this.
“The culling operations will only be done in the farm affected. Other farms surrounding the area will be subjected to random tests. There will be no 1-km or 7 km radius, unlike the previous protocols, and there will be no curtailment in the movement of stocks,” the Agriculture chief added.
In August this year, the Agriculture department declared a bird flu outbreak from a poultry farm in Barangay San Luis, Pampanga and in two farms in Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija. These farms have been tested positive with Type A subtype H5 virus which is deadly to feathered animals but not harmful to humans.
At least 400,000 fowls which include poultry chickens, fighting cocks, ducks, and quails have been culled to stop the bird flu virus from spreading.