Fighting cocks in Pampanga not spared as agriculture chief orders them culled, too

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EVEN the fighting cocks were not spared as Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he ordered the culling of these fighting roosters and hens in six game farms in Pampanga where the first bird flu outbreak in the province was reported.

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“All fowls will be culled,” Piñol told The Manila Times in a text interview on Monday.

The agriculture chief, however, did not give an exact figure on the number of chickens to be killed.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) declared the outbreak of avian influenza type A subtype H5 in the town of San Luis, Pampanga, the country’s first, and at the same time ordered the culling of 400,000 chickens to prevent the virus from spreading.

Piñol said no animal-to-human transmissions have been reported.

The agriculture chief also noted that six poultry farms in the province were affected and about 37,000 chicken layers have died because of the virus.

Initial samples from a farm in Pampanga that reported very high mortalities in poultry tested positive for an H5 strain at the Bureau of Animal Industry’s Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory.

The samples were found to be negative for other avian respiratory diseases that have similar symptoms such as infectious larynx bronchi disease, infectious bronchitis and the virulent Newcastle disease.

Officials admitted there could still be poultry mortalities in the area that had yet to be reported.

San Luis, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of Manila, is close to the Candaba swamps, a major way station and destination for migratory birds that move out of the Asian mainland during winter.

Piñol also admitted to authorities that it has not been determined where the virus came from.

 

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