CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Various poultry and livestock growers in Pampanga are complaining of the paranoia that has been weighing in on the sales of the poultry industry here as many of their buyers were not able to access stocks even outside the seven-kilometer controlled zone.

Poultry raisers from Minalin, Santo Tomas, Candaba and even those in Santa Rita and Guagua have been complaining of the very restrictive and unclear provisions implemented by the ban of the Bureau of Animal Industry.

Many of them are complaining that their buyers from as far as Ilocos Region have been prevented by the quarantine inspections set up by various municipalities and provinces from accessing supplies even if these are outside the seven-kilometer controlled zone.

Sales in markets in Guagua, one of the province's biggest public markets have been very slow. The same is true with sales in Angeles City where some sellers have cut into half their regular supply orders.

In the City of San Fernando, some chicken stalls closed early on Saturday and Sunday due to poor sales, where vendors associations reported drop in sales from the average 250 heads to just 50 heads per trader.

The vendors told SunStar Pampanga that the “scare” is causing big impact, affecting not only the local economy but other related health social concerns that since haunted several wet markets across the city.

In Candaba's Tagalog Region barangays, which are the closest to Bulacan, supplies have already been prevented from entering Bulacan markets according to local growers. In Bahay Pari, chicken is no longer sold by the kilo but per head at P80 to P100.

Michael Reyes from Bahay Pari said that some sell the chicken alive to prove that these are not sick.

In Santo Tomas, Jonathan Simbillo, a local poultry owner, said that they have not been able to sell stocks since Friday. This is despite the fact that the town is ten kilometers away from the controlled zone in San Luis.

Kulkul area, which occupies parts of Minalin and Santo Tomas is the biggest egg producing area of the fourth district. The area alone produces some 1.5 million eggs a day.

Mayor John Sambo said that the town's 700,000 stocks are for egg production.

"It is very unfair that we could not sell eggs even if we are not part of the areas with infection," Sambo said adding that they are urging Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) to clarify the ban and issue shipping permits to areas not part of the quarantine and controlled area.

Kulkul area alone is losing some P4 million in revenue daily from unsold eggs. Shelf life of eggs is only usually around 21 days.

The BAI on Monday, August 14, clarified its ban amending the provision of allowing movement of poultry products provided these are outside the seven-kilometer controlled zone but only in Luzon.

However, this does not dispel worries over the avian flu virus as some consumers are shying away from buying poultry products.

It could be recalled that 37,000 birds have died from avian influenza subtype H5 in what has been declared as the first bird flu outbreak in the country. The outbreak affected six poultry farms in San Luis town.

A quarantine area was declared within one-kilometer of the affected poultry farms in San Luis. Transport of fowls and eggs from a controlled area within a seven-kilometer radius of the affected farms will not be allowed.