The Philippines culled nearly 300,000 birds, mostly chicken layers, to prevent the spread of avian influenza (AI) in the country, the latest government data showed.
The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said that as of June 24 a total of 286,934 birds were culled by the government, of which 66.38 percent or about 190,468 were chicken layers.
BAI data showed that the government also culled 47,667 ducks, 27,574 quails, 750 native chickens and 575 other birds. The attached agency of the Department of Agriculture said a certain farm owner conducted a pre-emptive culling of 19,900 broiler breeders.
The agency said the government has indemnified affected poultry farmers who received a total of P24.831 million. Based on its latest tally, BAI said bird flu cases in the country were confirmed in 95 barangays in 53 municipalities across 14 provinces in 8 regions nationwide.
The BAI said 133,160 birds died due to the disease, bringing the total death count (mortalities and culled) to 420,094 birds.
Chicken layer accounted for the bulk of the recorded mortalities as of June 24 at 64,772 followed by quail at 55,616.
As of June 24 there were 10 ongoing bird flu cases out of the 142 confirmed cases nationwide. The government has resolved 132 bird flu cases since the resurgence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in February. (Related story: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2022/02/22/phl-reports-new-avian-flu-outbreaks-in-central-luzon-farms/)
The BAI disclosed that the confirmed cases of AI subtype H5N1 were recorded in the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bataan, Laguna, Camarines Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Benguet, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Maguindanao and Isabela.
“The new municipalities with recorded AI cases were Bacolor and Santo Tomas in Pampanga and the municipality of Lutayan in Sultan Kudarat,” BAI said.
“Among the possible sources of infection and spread of the virus in the affected areas are the presence of migratory or resident wild birds, late or non-reporting of suspect cases (sick/dying birds) and illegal movement of infected birds from H5N1 infected areas as per disease investigation conducted by veterinary authorities.”
The BAI said farms of poultry raisers in the provinces of Davao del Sur, Laguna and Camarines Sur have been cleared of bird flu, in accordance with existing rules and regulations.
Under the government’s 2020 AI Protection Program Manual of Procedures, approval of repopulation in an infected farm takes place for about 90 days or more after pertinent control measures, such as culling, cleaning and disinfection, and sentineling, are completed.
The DA has updated its guidelines on the movement of live poultry and non-poultry and poultry products and by-products following recent developments in the country’s AI situation. The DA issued Memorandum Circular (MC) 27 that outlined the new rules and regulations, which superseded MC 16.
“To ensure supply chain continuity and local food sufficiency, the movement of different poultry-related commodities will be allowed subject to additional safety measures to prevent the further spread of HPA1 to the remaining disease free areas in the country,” the DA said in MC 27.
Under MC 27, the inter-island transport of live birds (poultry and non-poultry) from Region 5 and four other regions in Mindanao (Regions 9, 10, 11, 13) has been temporarily banned.
MC 27 also stipulated that the movement of gamefowls, especially from bird-flu free regions in Mainland Luzon, is now allowed subject to AI testing rules. The DA has given its go-ahead to the limited movement of pigeons from bird-flu free areas in Mainland Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao subject to pertinent rules and regulations.