Pigeon racing still banned

The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said pigeon racing, a common pastime, is still banned due to the continued threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the Philippines.

BAI said HPAI is highly contagious to birds and can cause death, especially in chickens.

In a notice yesterday, BAI said the ban was imposed because of the difficulty of monitoring pigeons that may come into contact with wild birds that may carry the AI ​​virus.

“Based on Circular Memorandum Series 27 of 2022, transport of up to 10 pigeons is permitted under certain conditions including negative AI tests, veterinary health certificate and vaccination against Newcastle disease . This is to ensure the breeding and transfer needs of pigeons,” BAI said.

As of June 24, the country had resolved 132 out of 142 AI cases in 95 affected barangays in 14 provinces, including Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bataan, Laguna, Camarines Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Benguet, North Cotabato, South Cotabato , Davao del Sur, Maguindanao and Isabela.

Besides migratory wild birds, BAI said that among the possible sources of AI infection are also late reporting or non-reporting of suspected cases as well as illegal movement of infected birds.

For the period, the government recorded a total of 133,160 mortalities and 286,934 culls involving ducks, quails, native chickens, laying hens and broiler breeders, among others.

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