Govt scrambles amid new bird flu outbreak

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A farm owner in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija was forced to cull thousands of chickens after the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed anew the “positive presence” of the bird flu virus.

“DA confirmed the presence of the disease after ensuring that movement control for live poultry and their by-products is in place and established,” the DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry said in a statement issued on Saturday.

“With observed mortality in ready-to-lay chickens (“paitluging manok”) in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, the affected farm underwent a screening test for bird flu. Several samples yielded positive results in the screening test,” the agency explained.

“The initial findings were discussed with the owner and the latter opted for immediate depopulation,” the bureau said, adding that local authorities helped in implementing culling procedures.


The bureau said that there was no reported case of avian influenza in broiler chickens.

After the detection and confirmation of bird flu on August 11, 2017 in Pampanga, the Agriculture department and the local government have been conducting surveillance in nearby municipalities.

Also, research has been commissioned to identify the factors increasing the likelihood of occurrence of bird flu.

Suspect farms

Poultry farms with one-day mortality of 3 percent of the total population are considered suspect farms, where an initial screening test will be conducted. As protocol, after the screening test, a confirmatory test will follow.

The bureau also asked the public to help the government in supporting the poultry industry.

“The poultry sector specifically the farms that tested negative for bird flu has suffered a lot from the previous bird flu outbreak. These farms have not yet fully recovered from their losses,” the bureau said.

The bureau also assured the public that bird flue surveillance activities were on-going in accordance with global animal health guidelines.

In August, the Agriculture department declared a bird flu outbreak in Barangay San Luis, Pampanga and in two farms in Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija.

These farms tested positive for the Type A subtype H5 virus, which was deadly to feathered animals but not harmful to humans.

At least 400,000 fowls, which include poultry chicken, fighting cocks, ducks and quails, were culled to stop the bird flu virus from spreading.

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