Avian flu confirmed in Nueva Ecija: Pinol. Culling in controlled areas to contain virus. Poultry farmers suffering since prices crash.

Avian Flu outbreak

PICS: Inquirer.net and freeimages.com

PICS: Inquirer.net and freeimages.com

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On Friday, Emmanuel Pinol, the Agriculture Secretary informed that a total of 307,000 birds had perished. He confirmed two cases of bird flu in the towns of Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija. A similar outbreak confirmed last week in San Luis, Pampanga killed 37,000 birds.
Animal Diseases Detection Laboratory confirmed the presence of H5 strain; it was the same virus as in San Luis.
The outbreak claimed the lives of:
• 200,000 quails,
• 57,000 local breeds of chicken,
• 22,000 ducks, and
• 28,000 layer chickens.
A contained-radius of 1 km and a controlled radius of seven km in Nueva Ecijia was prepared by Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI). Culling would take place here.
A special team from the Department of Health (DOH) will assist the Department of Agriculture (DA). However, the virus has not been transmitted to humans, Pinol explained.
Samahang Industriya sa Agrikultura (Sinag) is an industrial group that is concerned about the future of the poultry industry. He wanted to know as to what would happen to the poultry in the controlled zone.
While industry group Samahang Industriya sa Agrikultura (Sinag) fully supports DA’s measures, Sinag Chairman Rosendo So said the agency should clearly state what’s going to happen to poultries within the seven-kilometer controlled zone.
By the restrictions imposed, the movement of poultry was uncertain. Moreover, there was no clarity about the livelihood of people who depend on poultry for sustenance. Thus, there was a lot of confusion and panic among poultry farmers.
Since the outbreak, the prices of poultry plummeted from P80-90 to P35-40. This is much lower than the farmers’ cost of production.
Hence, an appeal has been made to the DA and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to assist the hapless farmers.
The retail prices should be kept at reasonable levels to provide succor the poultry farmers.

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Umrao Singh
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Friday, August 18, 2017