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Erap: Chicken sold in Manila safe to eat

BY: Analou de Vera

Mayor Joseph Estrada has assured that chicken being sold in Manila are safe from the avian flu virus.

A week-long extensive inspection and monitoring conducted by the Office of the City Veterinarian revealed that there is no sign of the dreaded virus in all of the local public markets and poultry dressing plants, said Estrada.

“I’ve been very particular to our city inspectors to do all they can to ensure that bird flu won’t reach the City of Manila. So far, poultry products that are being sold in our markets are safe for consumption,” he said.

Among those inspected were Blumentritt Market, the biggest source of live and dressed chicken in Manila; Paco Market, Arranque Market in Sta. Cruz, Bambang Market in Tondo, Quinta Market in Quiapo, and private supermarkets and meat shops.

All stalls and shops selling dressed and live chickens have shipping permits and veterinary health inspection certificates that showed the chickens did not come from San Luis, Pampanga where the outbreak was first reported, said Dr. Virgil Benedict de Jesus, city veterinarian and head of Veterinary Inspection Board.

Chicken being sold in Manila come from suppliers and poultry farms in Bacoor City, Cavite; Candelaria, Quezon; Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Tanay, Rizal; Abucay, Bataan; Batangas City, Laguna, Antipolo, Tarlac City, and Tarlac-Kalayaan Farm, De Jesus pointed out.

“Inspection revealed that the chickens were healthy, fit for consumption, and sourced from the aforementioned areas,” De Jesus said.

De Jesus said that they coordinated with the Bureau of Animal Industry and will continue to inspect and monitor public and privately-owned markets.

“Once a particular poultry stall or dealer has no shipping permit or veterinary health certificate, we will immediately confiscate everything,” he warned.