Bird flu detected in Pampanga egg farm, Agri dept. says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020   •   900

MANILA, Philippines – A strain of a highly-pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a poultry farm in Pampanga, the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed on Wednesday.

Citing a report from the Bureau of Animal Industry, the DA said the presence of the avian flu strain, specifically A(H5N6), was detected in a poultry layer or egg-producing farm in San Luis town.

In a statement, the department said that upon confirmation of the report, a composite team of veterinarians and animal health officers from its field office in Central Luzon and Pampanga was immediately sent to the area to apply emergency control measures and conduct disease surveillance around the infected farm to arrest the spread of A(H5N6).

“The team humanely culled a total of 38,701 head of layers and disposed off them properly, employing the protocols under the Avian Influenza Protection Program of the Philippine Government,” DA-BAI director Ronnie Domingo said in his report to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The agency assured that all personnel involved in the disease control measure were strictly monitored. It added that the avian disease has not been reported and detected among broilers, which is the primary source of poultry meat.

Domingo said that early reporting, detection and strong multi-agency collaboration “paved the way for the rapid and effective response in the management of the A(H5N6) incidence.”

Initial field investigation showed the presence in San Luis of migratory birds, which has been associated with bird flu outbreaks in many countries, including the Philippines.

Domingo said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified 117 important bird areas (IBA) in the country, and about 150,000 migratory birds nest and breed annually in Central Luzon.

“The DA-BAI, therefore, urges poultry raisers in Central Luzon and in traditional IBAs to protect and shield their farms from the entry of migratory birds, and more importantly immediately report any unusual poultry mortalities,” it said.

Clark International Airport to open ‘world-class’ passenger T2 in July

Marje Pelayo   •   June 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — Clark International Airport (CRK) will soon inaugurate its new ‘state-of-the-art’ Terminal 2.

The new facility, which is set to open for domestic operations in July this year, is expected to hold up to 12.2 million passengers. This is triple the number of the terminal’s average capacity prior to the pandemic which is only 4.2 million a year.

Following its opening for domestic operations, the terminal will open its international services in September.

On Tuesday (June 8), Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade led the inspection of the new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) at CRK in Pampanga.

He was joined by DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan who discussed the terminal’s map route alignment for the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCREx) project that will connect to the CRK underground station.

Tugade believes the terminal will help boost the country’s economy specifically in the tourism sector as it creates more jobs and other opportunities for Filipinos.

Moreover, Tugade said, the construction project itself generated over 1,600 jobs amid the pandemic. Job opportunities are expected to increase once the new terminal goes fully operational.

Baka para sa Bakuna: San Luis, Pampanga to raffle off cows for vaccine drive

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — San Luis, Pampanga will raffle off cows to encourage more residents to get vaccinated.

San Luis Mayor Jayson Sagum lamented the huge percentage of residents who are hesitant about the COVID-19 vaccine due to reported cases of adverse effects.

This has prompted the local government to launch a raffle draw where only vaccinated residents will be qualified to join. Sagum said they will raffle off live cows for residents who already received the first dose.

The San Luis mayor said they welcome donations of live cows to encourage residents to get vaccinated. He also hopes that the vaccine supply will also increase in the coming months to accommodate more residents. AAC (with reports from Leslie Huidem)

 

 

 

 

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Philippines now free of H5N6 bird flu – DA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is now free of Avian Influenza (AI) or bird flu, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday.

In a statement, the DA announced that the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) declared the country free of the last remaining A(H5N6) strain of Avian Influenza on January 8, 2021.

The department said the country was able to resolve the outbreaks of AI A(H5N6) in a commercial layer poultry farm in Pampanga, and backyard poultry farms in a village in Rizal, in less than a year after the poultry virus reemerged in the country.

In its report to the OIE, the DA Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said the affected farms showed no further evidence of the presence of the AI virus during the monitoring and surveillance.

“We had not detected any case of AI A(H5N6) among the poultry and other bird population in the last 90 days after the completion of cleaning and disinfection in the affected farms, surveillance and monitoring, and completion of the 35-day restocking period with sentinel animals in Pampanga and Rizal,” the DA-BAI said.

The recurrence of A(H5N6) was confirmed by the DA-BAI Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference Laboratory on July 10, 2020, after the owner of the commercial layer farm notified the Pampanga provincial veterinary office about the sudden drop in egg production, cyanosis (dark bluish or purplish coloration of the skin and mucous membranes in chickens), and mortalities.

Another case was detected in Rizal, as reported by a farmer on August 26, 2020, to the municipal veterinary office of Taytay.

The backyard farm had approximately 500 heads of free-range chicken and 300 heads of Muscovy ducks. The clinical signs — such as wry neck or torticollis, cyanosis of extremities — and death were observed since August 10, 2020.

As a result of the swift action of the farm owners, sanitary control and containment operations to prevent the further spread of the virus were carried out immediately, the DA said.

“We appreciate the rapid response and collaboration of the local government units of Pampanga and Rizal and DA Regional Field Offices III and IV-A,” the DA-BAI said.

The agency also thanked the affected farmers — for their prompt reporting that led to the early containment of the disease — the poultry stakeholders, and partners from the Department of Health for extending support to the prevention and control of AI.

To recall, the Philippines also resolved the outbreak cases in 2017 and in 2018.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said this is a welcome development considering that poultry meat is a highly popular animal protein source among Filipinos, like pork and beef.

“I congratulate the DA-BAI and the local governments of Pampanga and Rizal, whose swift action resulted in limiting the further spread of the AI A(H5N6) strain to other areas,” Dar said.

The DA-BAI, however, reminds poultry farmers and industry stakeholders to remain vigilant and report any unusual mortalities to their respective farm veterinarians or nearest government veterinary or agriculture office.

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