DR. Renante Decena, provincial veterinarian of Negros Occidental, warned Negrenses on Friday, especially gamefowl breeders against the possible bird flu outbreak in the province.

Decena said game fowl raisers should refrain from visiting countries with bird flu cases such as China and Hong Kong.

If they happened to visit these destinations, they should refrain from immediately visiting their farms, he added.

People are primary carriers of contagious diseases to animals, Decena said.

Gamefowl breeding is considered the second largest industry in the province next to sugar.

The local industry is worth P4 billion, with 15,000 to 20,000 heads ready for cockfights being sold every month in the province.

Negros Occidental has been known as one of the good sources of fighting cocks in the country.

Decena said it is advised that persons coming from China and Hongkong should have a personal quarantine or refrain from immediately going outside their homes.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has banned the entry of chicken and chicken products, along with domesticated and wild birds from China’s after its own Ministry of Agriculture confirmed an outbreak of another strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza in north China’s Hebei Province.

In Memorandum Order 1 signed January 10, Alcala said the ban covers the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from the People’s Republic of China.

The ban was ordered after the Chinese ministry submitted a report dated Dec. 21, 2013 to the Office Internationale des Epizooties (OIE), the intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health worldwide, which confirmed an outbreak of HPAI virus of the subtype H5N2 in three villages in Hebei Province.

Alcala said the ban on Chinese chicken, poultry products and birds was designed to prevent the entry of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus into the country to protect the health of the public and the local poultry population.

The DA order also called for the immediate suspension and processing, evaluation and issuance of veterinary quarantine clearance and International Veterinary Certificate and import permits for the importation of the banned commodities.