Bird flu in parts of Bulacan and Pampanga detected

DA says infected quail and ducks “promptly culled”

Courtesy DA

(Eagle News) – Bird flu or avian influenza has been detected in a duck farm in Baliuag, Bulacan, and quail farms in Candaba and Mexico, Pampanga.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said it had already “acted swiftly” to contain the disease through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), municipal and veterinary personnel in the said towns, with the help of the farm owners themselves.

“We immediately carried out the needed protocol to effectively contain avian influenza that was detected in ducks and quails in Baliuag, Bulacan, and Candaba and Mexico in Pampanga — aimed mainly at preventing it from spreading to other areas,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The disease was first detected on January 6, 2022, from a duck farm, in Barangay Barangka, Baliuag, Bulacan, through routine surveillance activities implemented by DA-BAI as part of its early warning system.

The second case was reported on January 21 from two commercial quail farms, in Brgy. Dalayap, Candaba, Pampanga; and on January 27, from a quail farm, in Brgy. Mangga, Candaba, Pampanga.

The third case was reported on February 11, 2022, from two adjacent quail farms in Brgy. San Antonio, Mexico, Pampanga.

BAI Director Reildrin Morales said that the infected birds in the identified quail and duck farms have already been “promptly culled and properly disposed of” by the municipal veterinary authorities.

-Biosecurity measures-

Agriculture Secretary Dar urged all poultry raisers and farm workers “to observe and implement necessary biosecurity measures and cooperate with temporary movement restrictions that may be applied in affected areas to prevent incursion of the disease in their facilities/farms.”

“We assure the general public that the risk to catch H5N1 virus is very low. Poultry meat and its products are safe to eat,” Dar said.

The DA said that following the established protocol under the Avian Influenza Preparedness Plan (AIPP), it had conducted an immediate disease investigation, surveillance in the one-kilometer quarantine zone around the infected farms, and informed the concerned local government units (LGUs) of Pampanga and Bulacan, and the Department of Health (DOH).

It said that this coordinated action was undertaken “to avoid the risk of transmission to humans.”

(Eagle News Service)