THE Department of Agriculture (DA)-Davao will start the consecutive blood-sampling and testing on fowls in major poultry farms in the city starting on Wednesday, August 23 to September 4, in a bid to secure the city from any possible Avian Influenza (AI) cases.

DA-Davao Avian Influenza Spokesperson Dr. Dannie Apelo, during Kapehan sa Dabaw media conference held at Sm City Annex Building on Monday, August 21, said DA-Davao and City Veterinary's Office (CVO) will be testing poultry animals in Calinan, Tamugan, and Tugbok respectively.

Random sampling of 30 poultry animals, Apelo said, will be done. He added that some backyard poultry growers in the three areas will also be inspected.

Once there is a poultry animal suspected to have any illness, Apelo said DA-Davao will have to bring him for quarantine.

If the blood sample will result to negative from any AI virus but has illness, DA-Davao will put the sick fowl in a sentinel or group of healthy fowls for 21 days for observance. If the healthy fowls do not get sick after 21 days, the department will then confirm that the suspected fowl does not carry any other lethal virus.

Davao Region, he added, remained bird flu free as of yesterday but continuous monitoring and blood-sampling of birds and fowl in different bird hotspot areas in the region are being done.

The department will also be conducting a meeting with local government units on Wednesday, August 23, regarding the immediate establishment of quarantine checkpoints against the entry of poultry products to be installed at seven different areas in the region.

Apelo said city and provincial veterinary and health offices in the region and DA-Davao veterinary quarantine officers are expected to come for the meeting.

The seven quarantine checkpoint sites, Anelo said, will be in Kinuskusan, Davao Del Sur, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, Boston town in Davao Oriental, Monkaya in Compostela Valley, Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental, and Buda in Davao City.

He also said the Avian Influenza Task Force was already oriented about the planned measures against AI contamination in the region last week.

The establishment of the quarantine checkpoints, Apelo said, is only one of the preventive measured being done by DA ensuring that the region will be having zero contaminated poultry and fowls by banning the entry of chicken, poultry meat, manure, broilers’ semen from Visayas and Luzon.

"After the thorough planning during our meeting, we will immediately implement the quarantine sites for three months," he said.