MITIGATING measures are now being undertaken in the Cordillera region in a bid to avert entry of poultry products affected with bird flu.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Cordillera Administrative Region through the Bureau of Animal Industry’s (BAI) recently issued Memorandum Circular no. 9, series of 2017 banning movement of live domestic and wild birds including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs, semen, manure and other products will be allowed from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.

According to the circular, movement of such commodities maybe allowed, provided it is outside the seven-kilometer radius of Pampanga and necessary permits and certificates are obtained.

The National Veterinary Quarantine Services of the BAI, in coordination with the DA-Cordillera, has installed nine quarantine stations in the region.

The nine stations are located in Barangay Tangadan San Quinting, Abra for the Narvacan, Ilocos Sur entry, one in Barangay Quirino, Luna, Apayao for the Junction Luna-Abulog entry, four stations in Benguet, located in Barangay Camp 1, Kennon Road for the La Union entry, Brgy. Poyopoy, Marcos Highway, Tuba for the Pugo, La Union entry, Barangay Banangan, Sablan for the entry from Burgos, La Union. Barangay Pinkian, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya for the Cagayan Valley entry.

There are also two stations in Ifugao at Barangay Poblacion, Lamut for the Bagabag, Nueva Vizacaya entry, Barangay Namilangan, Alfonso Lista for the Ramon, Isabela entry, one in Barangay Talaca, Tabuk City, Kalinga for the Quezon, Isabela, and Cagayan entry.

Different information regarding the outbreak were all sent out to Provincial Veterinary Offices and City Veterinary Offices in the Cordillera. Roles in the Avian Influenza Prevention and Control Program have also been designated to stakeholders.

In addition, the Avian Influenza Regional Task Force has been formed.

Based on the data from the provincial and city veterinary offices in Cordillera, there are 2.396 poultry farms in the region with 162 for layer farms, 53 for broiler farms, and 2,181 for free range chicken, native, gamefowl, duck, turkey, and goose farms. While the poultry population in the Cordillera totals to 1,161,111.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health advised poultry products should be cooked thoroughly. Good hygiene should be observed especially after exposure with birds. It is also best to not come in contact or at least avoid wild or migratory birds and poultry houses or farms.

DA is encouraging everyone to report unusual or unexplained deaths in poultry to the nearest veterinary or agriculture office. (Ayra Galanza)