The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) of Negros Occidental has assured poultry raisers here that measures are in place to prevent the entry of bird flu in the province.
Dr. Renate Decena, the provincial veterinarian, said on Monday Negros Occidental has a lesser chance of getting contaminated since the province does not source poultry products from the affected area in Luzon.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed that avian influenza under the highly pathogenic strain H5N6 has hit a village in Nueva Ecija.
“We have surplus in supply of poultry products, including chicken, so there’s no movement of such commodities from the affected place going to the province,” Decena said.
The DA itself said there’s a slim chance that the virus can be transmitted to humans, adding that H5N6 is a virus far less deadly than H5N1.
A total of 12,000 quails from the farm have been culled and buried on March 14.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said on Monday that quarantine protocols have been in place in the affected area with a one-kilometer radius designated as a quarantine zone while some seven kilometers beyond that, will be considered as a surveillance zone.
In 2017, the bird flu also hit farms in San Luis, Pampanga and the towns of Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija.
Decena said Negros Occidental has already established guidelines on how to safeguard its PHP7-billion local poultry industry.
Necessary measures on preventing the entry of avian influenza are being implemented like regulating the movement of poultry products, he added.
“However, to further ensure the safety of our poultry industry, gamefowl raisers must avoid going to Luzon, particularly in Nueva Ecija,” Decena said.
As part of these preventive measures, the PVO, along with the Bureau of Animal Industry, is set to conduct sample testing among birds in identified migratory sites in Negros Occidental. (Erwin Nicavera ndb via pna)