THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has reported the first outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) Type A subtype H5N1, which affected at least three commercial farms in Pampanga and another in Bulacan province.
The DA confirmed on Tuesday, February 22, that the disease was first detected on January 6, 2022, from a duck farm, in Barangay Barangka in Baliuag town, Bulacan.
The second was reported on January 21, 2022, from two commercial quail farms in Barangay Dalayap, Candaba and on January 27, 2022, from a quail farm in Barangay Mangga also in Candaba town. Some 37,723 quails have died in the two areas.
The third case was reported on February 11, 2022, from two adjacent quail farms in Barangay San Antonio in Mexico town. Some 4,522 quails have reportedly died in the said area.
The DA said that it has acted swiftly to contain avian influenza (bird flu) through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), respective municipal veterinary personnel, and farm owners. Respective municipal veterinary authorities promptly culled and properly disposed of all birds in affected quail and duck farms.
“We immediately carried out the needed protocol to effectively contain avian influenza that was detected in ducks and quails in Baliuag, Bulacan, and Candaba and Mexico in Pampanga — aimed mainly at preventing it from spreading to other areas,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Some 19,317 quails were culled in the two outbreaks in Candaba town, while 9,768 quails were culled in Mexico town.
This is the first recorded outbreak of HPAI A(H5N1) in the Philippines. Previous outbreaks involved HPAI A (H5N6) a similarly highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype.
Meanwhile, to protect the multi-billion poultry industry and food security in Pampanga, Governor Dennis Pineda gathered stakeholders in the City of San Fernando on February 21 to further control bird flu incidents that have been contained in a few farms in Candaba and Mexico towns since January.
“Lahat po tayo may papel para lalong ma-control and ma-save ang poultry industry natin,” Pineda said in a briefing on avian influenza held a day after Dar announced the successful control of bird flu among quails and ducks in Bulacan and Pampanga.
Around 50,000 birds were culled by local governments.
Dr. Augusto Baluyut, provincial veterinarian, said the quick responses in 2017 and 2020 helped limit and eradicate the H5N6, a virus that affects birds only.
The virus H5N1 was found in quails and ducks for the first time in the two provinces, although it had been detected since 1997 in many parts of the world, according to Dr. Glofezita Lagayan of the Bureau of Animal Industry.
Dr. Ida Gloria Felix, of the Department of Health, said there is “no known transmission of the H5N1 to humans or vice versa.”
The provincial action plan requires implementation of biosecurity and disinfection, isolation and quarantine, surveillance and reporting of incidents within 24 hours.
The provincial task force consisting of Provincial Veterinary Office and BAI was placed on a 24/7 operations in an office at the Provincial Engineering Compound.
Pineda established control points by BAI and the PNP within one-kilometer of laboratory-confirmed farms.
Big and backyard farms within the said control points must first present BAI-negative tests before their birds are allowed to be hauled outside of the control points.
SAFE. Governor Dennis Pineda eats balut to show confidence in Pampanga's poultry industry stressing that the province's poultry industry is safe despite recent outbreaks. (Ian Ocampo Flora)
February 23, 2022
- A A +
SunStar website welcomes friendly debate, but comments posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the SunStar management and its affiliates. SunStar reserves the right to delete, reproduce, or modify comments posted here without notice. Posts that are inappropriate will automatically be deleted.
Do not use obscenity. Some words have been banned. Stick to the topic. Do not veer away from the discussion. Be coherent. Do not shout or use CAPITAL LETTERS!