Avian pest kills thousands of chickens in Ilocos

Jun Elias - The Philippine Star

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Philippines – At least 109,255 chickens have died of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) also known as avian pest in this province.

Poultry farms in   65 municipalities in the Ilocos Region have also been affected, according to latest data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) here.

Dr. Annie Bares, head of DA’s field operations division, said some 11, 700 birds, particularly native chickens and fighting cocks, are still at risk and subject to vaccination by livestock inspectors.

“We are now controlling the new cases. We have already disposed to local government units (LGUs) 206, 000 doses of NDV vaccines. Our livestock inspectors are helping the LGUs on how to handle those infected with the virus,” Bares said.

Bares said the disease, known in Ilocos region as pangok, has affected 14 municipalities each in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, 17 in La Union and 20 in Pangasinan.

NDV is a highly contagious disease affecting chickens and birds. 

Symptoms of the virus are cold, paralysis, circling, and weakness.  

Bares said while the problem has been controlled, the supply of native chicken has slightly declined. 

However, she said the incident has not affected big industries that have been in contract growing for commercial chicken because they have their own vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.

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