Department of Agriculture to cull 400,000 fowls after bird flu outbreak in San Luis, Pampanga, Philippines

DA to cull 200,000 fowls after bird flu outbreak in Pampanga

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DA to cull 200,000 fowls after bird flu outbreak in Pampanga

Friday, August 11, 2017

MANILA. Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol holds a manual for Avian Influenza Protection during a news conference on the confirmation of the first bird flu case in the country Friday, August 11, 2017. (AP)

MANILA (Updated) -- The Department of Agriculture will cull at least 200,000 birds after confirming its first avian flu outbreak, but no animal-to-human transmission has been reported, officials said Friday.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said he ordered the culling of all fouls within a kilometer (0.6 mile) of six affected farms in northern Pampanga province's San Luis town.

The area has been declared a quarantine zone with a seven-kilometer surveillance area also established around the farms.

Piñol said he was informed Thursday that 37,000 birds have died from avian influenza subtype H5, which can cause illness and deaths in both animals and humans. Experts believe the ducks to be the virus carrier, he added.

He said he has informed President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Health and will report the outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health.

Piñol said farmers did not immediately report the deaths, which spiked in July, because they thought were from ordinary poultry disease.

Alene Asteria Vytiaco, an official of the Bureau of Animal Industry, said they will send samples collected from the farms to the World Organization for Animal Health and the Australian Animal Health Laboratory for further testing. (AP)

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