AGRICULTURE Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Thursday appealed to cockfighting enthusiasts in Pampanga to temporarily stop the holding of cockfights to prevent the avian influenza outbreak (bird flu) from spreading. “For effective containment of the avian influenza virus, we discourage the movement of fowls, including fighting roosters, for the next two weeks,” Piñol told The Manila Times in a text message. He said the enforcement is left to the judgment of local executives. Piñol was in Pampanga to meet with local executives and Bureau of Animal Industry officials in Central Luzon to put in place preventive measures and stop the threat of the virus spreading to nearby provinces. An inspection team headed by the Bureau of Animal Industry will be created to inspect all poultry farms in the province and security efforts have been intensified that include spraying of disinfectants and proper disposal of chicken waste. Piñol said he may lift an order banning the shipment of fowl from Luzon if no reported cases of mortality in the province in the next two to three weeks.