Capitol blocks entry of chicken from Leyte

Capitol blocks entry of chicken from Leyte
File photo from DA-Saad 10

THE Cebu Provincial Government has put a temporary ban on the entry of live birds from the province of Leyte for 45 days to deter the spread of avian influenza (AI).

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued on Monday, March 25, 2024 an executive order “regulating the entry of live poultry, game fowl, wild birds, pigeon, and pet birds from the Province of Leyte.”

The entry of live birds, either poul­try or non-poultry including day-­old chicks, pullet, ducks, quails, game fowl, pigeons, and pet birds from Leyte will be banned until May 9, 2024. Garcia enjoined all local government units (LGUs) in the province, the Philippine National Police, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, and the Cebu Port Authority to enforce her executive order. Cebu Province excludes the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

She also ordered the mobilization of all Barangay Animal Health Aides Associations to assist the LGUs with the monitoring and preventive measures.

Garcia said the entry of the AI posed a risk to Cebu’s P12 billion poultry industry. She said the current mortality rate of poultry farms in Leyte showed a potential AI outbreak and its environmental impact.

To prevent an AI outbreak in Cebu, Garcia invoked some provisions of the Local Government Code (LGC) in exercising due diligence to control and avoid animal pests and diseases and promote economic prosperity, and general welfare. She also cited guidelines provided by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Memorandum Circular 12 of 2022 on poultry movements amid an AI outbreak. DA Eastern Visayas reported on Monday that at least 60,000 chickens were culled in a private chicken breeder farm in Kananga, Leyte following the detection of the first case of AI disease in the region.

In a report, the Philippine News Agency said two chickens from the said farm tested positive for bird flu during a rapid test on March 13, prompting the owner to dispose of all live poultry and disinfect the farm.

The Kananga LGU also reported to DA 8 on March 8 about the abnormal daily mortality of chickens inside the farm. The source of infection was attributed to migratory birds or the illegal movement of infected birds from an infected area.

AI naturally spreads among wild aquatic birds globally and can infect domestic poultry and other animal species. Bird flu viruses typically do not infect humans, but sporadic human infections have occurred.

The DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry, on their website in August 2022, confirmed the presence of the Asian Avian Influenza Subtype H5N1 that entered the Philippines in January 2022. / EHP


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