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Assistance for poultry farmers sought

By: Vanne Elaine P. Terrazola

Senator Cynthia Villar called for an immediate livelihood assistance for livestock growers who are affected by the bird flu outbreak in San Luis, Pampanga.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, on Tuesday said that alternative livelihood resources should be in order to fill in the income of poultry farmers and workers who will be affected due to the public’s fear of the avian flu.

“Besides the financial assistance package being prepared by the Department of Agriculture (DA), alternative livelihood sources should also be made available to farmers who will not have a source of income for the next four to five months,” Villar said.

Citing earlier statements from DA officials, Villar reiterated that the avian flu virus is contained and that only 17 fowl farms in San Luis, Pampanga, are affected.

“In support of other Pampanga poultry raisers, we should emphasize that not all Pampanga fowls are infected,” she said.

She said she also hopes that the outbreak will not trigger a significant gap on supply of chicken and poultry products. “I am praying with the farmers that this outbreak will be contained and prevented from spreading to other areas,” Villar said.

Some 200,000 infected fowls are currently being culled by the DA to prevent the disease from spreading to other farms.

DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol earlier announced that a compensation of R80 per poultry head culled and a loan assistance of P25,000 will be given to farmers.

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