Freeman Cebu News ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

DA-7 heightens watch vs bird flu

CEBU, Philippines - Following reports of the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga, the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) seeks to heighten surveillance in every pier and airport in the region to prevent the disease from spreading.

DA-7 Information Division chief Melquiades Ibarra said the regional agency intends to strengthen their monitoring at the airport and pier terminal especially in Bantayan Island where most of the poultry farms are thriving.

He stressed the need for strict measures to prevent infected livestock from San Luis, Pampanga from infiltrating the islands of Central Visayas since this might cause disaster to the poultry industry here.

DA earlier confirmed the country’s first outbreak of bird flu in San Luis, Pampanga, with their plan to cull 400,000 chickens, quail and ducks to prevent the disease from spreading. Reportedly, there were early indications of the virus outbreak, but commercial poultry operators failed to report the matter immediately.

Ibarra reminds poultry operators to alert DA-7 or their respective city or municipal agricultural office in case some of their livestock such as chickens, quail or ducks become ill.

He, however, assured that poultry farm owners in the region are very responsive about reporting the condition of their poultry animals as they have their own in-house veterinarians who conduct daily check-ups.

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:

Since the agency has been very keen on adopting precautionary measures, Ibarra said there has been no report of the same outbreak in the region, so far.

“No bird flu case here in Central Visayas. Since history, there is no report of bird flu in the region,” he affirmed in a phone interview with The FREEMAN yesterday.

He said there are several poultry farms spread across Central Visayas but mostly concentrated in Bantayan Island, which has been the main source of egg supply in the region.

DA-7 Regional Technical Director Marina Hermoso, in a separate interview, said there are strict protocols already established in case of outbreak to deter the spread of disease.

DA has been tasked as the lead agency on culling bird flu with the Bureau of Animal Industry as the focal entity, she noted.

Aside from regular surveillance and monitoring, Hermoso said they are also implementing other procedures such as quarantine measures; vaccinations of unaffected animals; and information dissemination.

She also affirmed the importance of strict guarding of all points of entry as well as close coordination among all private and government veterinarians, local officials, and other concerned stakeholders.

Hermoso said the role of the regional office is to coordinate with the veterinary quarantine on information, networking and reporting.

She said DA-7 is equipped with a bird flu laboratory located along M. Velez Street where the old DA-7 office used to be which functions to backstop the work of Avian Influenza (or bird flu) prevention and control. (FREEMAN)

Freeman ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch:
  • Follow Us: