THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said the bird flu outbreak in backyard farms in Taytay, Rizal, which affected a few hundreds of muscovy ducks and native chickens, is now under control and government authorities have started disinfection procedures in the affected farms.
DA Avian Influenza Technical Spokesman Arlene Vytiaco told the BusinessMirror that the outbreak in Brgy. Sta. Ana, Taytay, Rizal, has been contained following the complete stamping out of 171 birds in the affected farms.
Vytiaco explained that two backyard farms were confirmed positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N6 out of 12 farms in the 1-kilometer radius that were tested by the government.
Vytiaco said five backyard raisers experienced unusual mortality among their flock, including deaths in game fowls, but only the fifth affected raiser reported to the government about the incident in late August.
The affected farm that reported to the government had about 500 native chickens and 300 muscovy ducks, with the majority of the population being wiped out by the disease.
Government authorities only had to depopulate less than a hundred native chickens and about 49 muscovy ducks.
Due to this, government authorities went to depopulate eight more farms that had a history of unusual mortality among their flock and were adjacent to the positive farm since they had no biosecurity measures, making them high-risk for the virus.
Vytiaco said the government immediately dispatched teams to undertake the depopulation right after that it was confirmed that AI struck the poultry farms.
“The outbreak is now under control. It’s contained already. The cleaning and disinfection procedures are now ongoing,” Vytiaco said via phone call.
“We have talked with the local government unit that they will continue to monitor the remaining ducks every two weeks to collect blood samples to ensure they are negative from AI,” she added.
Vytiaco said the government is still investigating the possible cause of the bird flu outbreak in the concerned poultry farms, which were located on the riverbanks of Pasig River.
“These duck farms were located along the Pasig River and amazingly the two farms that tested positive were the ones located above and not on the riverbank,” she said.
The bird flu outbreak in Taytay, Rizal, is another setback toward the declaration of the Philippines as a bird flu-free country again. This is now the third confirmed AI outbreak this year following the earlier cases in Jaen, Nueva Ecija, and San Luis, Pampanga.