PHL reports more slaughter to OIE as bird flu spreads

THE Philippines has culled more than 85,000 birds, mostly ducks and quail, to curb the spread of highly pathogenic bird flu that has entered at least nine provinces this year.

The Philippines recently submitted two follow-up reports regarding their H5N1 subtype HPAI outbreaks to the World Organization for Animal Health or the OIE.

Both follow-up reports contained new outbreaks in Benguet, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Camarines Sur. Based on the two reports, approximately 49,065 birds were susceptible to bird flu, of which 13,030 died from the disease.

To contain the spread of the outbreak, the government culled the remaining 36,035 susceptible bird populations, the two monitoring reports showed.

With the country’s recent reports to the OIE, the Philippine government has confirmed 159,029 birds susceptible to HPAI subtypes H5N1 and H5N8 this year, with a total death toll of 73,485 birds. To date, the government has culled around 85,615 birds, mostly ducks and quail, to deal with the resurgence of bird flu outbreaks in the country, based on the country’s official reports to the OIE.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) revealed that it has a fund of 25 million pesos to compensate farmers and ranchers affected by bird flu across the country. In the event of insufficient funds, the BAI, an agency attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, will file a request for a supplementary budget using the ministry’s rapid intervention fund.

The government compensates farmers affected by avian flu based on their culled population. The government pays 100 pesos per head of duck slaughtered and 15 pesos per quail.

BAI tightens the rules

Earlier, the BAI further tightened its rules and regulations on poultry industries in the country to curb the spread of bird flu which has affected at least seven provinces this year. The bureau issued Memorandum Circulars (MC) 9 and 10 to further strengthen the government’s efforts against avian influenza.

The office’s MC 9 ordered resumption of Avian Influenza (AI) testing for transport requirements and recertification of poultry farms, poultry farms and game bird farms.

“In light of the recent AI outbreaks in the country, the tests should be applied for recertification of laying hen farms, poultry farms and game bird farms and semi-annual surveillance of the ‘IA’, the document reads.

The BAI issued the MC 10 after receiving reports of continued “carrying, racing, training and breeding of pigeons” despite a temporary suspension under the DA MC 5 and 6.

AD MC 5 and 6 described the rules and regulations for the local movement of domestic and wild birds, poultry products as well as domesticated and captured wild ornamental birds and their poultry products. (Related story: business

However, “despite the above publications, numerous reports have been received by the Bureau on the transport, racing, training and breeding of pigeons,” the document states.

Earlier, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar called on local government units (LGUs) to step up their efforts against bird flu as the DA confirmed outbreaks in areas as remote as Benguet and Sultan Kudarat.

The provinces where bird flu outbreaks have been confirmed are Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Camarines Sur, Laguna, Bataan, Tarlac, Benguet and North Cotabato.

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