The Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) on Wednesday said affected farms in Pampanga are losing about P4 million a day from the time the avian flu virus was reported in the province.
In a news briefing, Ronnie Domingo, BAI-Animal Health and Welfare Division (AHWD) chief, said that while the total extent of the damage to farmers is still being gathered by the Department of Agriculture (DA, they estimate about P4 million in losses to farms.
“In the farms we visited, their production is one million eggs a day, multiplied by 4 pesos and 60 centavos, they are losing P4.6 million a day,” Domingo added.
He said even after the depopulation process was finished, the farmers’ losses came from low demand from the public because of the avian flu scare.
“Because even if we say the depopulation is done, the problem is finished. There are still people who are afraid to buy poultry products and eggs because they think they might be infected. There are still those misconceptions” according to Domingo.
“That is why our Secretary of Agriculture immediately reimbursed the affected farmers. About P50-70 million have been paid to the farmers,” he said, referring to Emmanuel Pinol.
National Meat Inspection Service head Rolando Marquez assured all meat products undergo many processes before being sold to the public.
On August 12, Piñol declared an outbreak of avian flu in San Luis, Pampanga, and ordered the culling of about 400,000 infected chickens on the same day.
The virus strain was later found and confirmed to be H5N6, a “low-risk” virus but could be transmitted to humans.
No animal-to-human cases have been reported since the outbreak.
Domingo said they expect the lifting of the restriction on the importation of poultry products in Pampanga on December after the lapse of the 90-day surveillance by the DA.