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Bird flu hits Nueva Ecija

By: Czarina Nicole Ong, Francis T. Wakefield

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol confirmed in a Facebook statement yesterday another outbreak of the avian flu virus, this time in Nueva Ecija.

“Two new cases of Avian Influenza have been confirmed by the Bureau of Animal Industry in Jaen and San Isidro towns of Nueva Ecija today,” he said.

“The confirmation was made after [a] series of laboratory tests on specimens gathered from quails and layer chickens were conducted by the Animal Diseases Detection Laboratory,” he added.

Piñol said the farm in Jaen raised 20,000 quails, which were “wiped out.” Thankfully, Piñol said they were able to act on the bird flu outbreak in Nueva Ecija swiftly, unlike in the case of San Luis, Pampanga. The bird flu outbreak in Pampanga was only reported three months after it was first suspected.

“Quarantine teams were immediately established even before the laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the virus,” he said.

“A 1-kilometer contained radius and a 7-kilometer controlled radius were established just like in San Luis, Pampanga. Culling operations are ongoing for the other fowls in the 1-kilometer radius.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Enrico Garzon Jr. of the Bureau of Animal Industry issued three memorandum circulars to address the avian influenza that has currently hounded Pampanga.

In the first circular, Garzon temporarily banned the shipment of live domestic and wild birds including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs, semen and manure from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.

The second circular banned pigeon racing, flying, training, and other related activities, while the third prohibited the local shipment of live domestic and wild birds including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs, semen and manure from Visayas to Mindanao.

“This transport prohibition will remain in force until revoked in writing, pending report of no new cases of Avian Influenza 90 days after the stamping out activity indicating disinfection of all affected areas and surveillance,” the memorandum reads.

In a related development, the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Northern Luzon Command (AFP-Nolcom) reported yesterday that a total of 6,000 chickens has been culled in Pampanga.Lt. Col. Isagani G. Nato, the chief of the AFP NolCom’s Public Information Office,.said troops from the 48th Infantry Battalion (IB) arrived in Pampanga late afternoon Thursday and culled chickens until midnight.