Senator Nancy Binay on Monday called on national and local government units (LGUs), including poultry and gamefowl farm owners, to conduct biosecurity measures amid avian influenza outbreak in Pampanga.
“Nananawagan po ako sa mga LGUs, pati na rin sa mga may-ari at trabahador ng mga poultry at gamefowl farms, na pairalin ang biosecurity measures at farm hygiene upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng bird flu sa kanilang mga nasasakupan at alaga (I am calling on LGUs and owners and personnel of poultry and gamefowl farms to implement biosecurity measures and farm hygiene to prevent spread of bird flu in their areas and animals),” Binay said.
“This will also prevent the possible transmission of bird flu from poultry to humans,” she added.
Biosecurity measures, which include isolation of infected birds; sanitation and disinfection of facilities and people; and controlling traffic of people and flocks in and out of the farm, are management practices to reduce the potential of introducing and spreading of disease-causing organisms into and between sites.
“Dapat din pong isama ang mga backyard at gamefowl farms sa implementation ng biosecurity plans. Alam po nating mas madalas ang contact ng mga ibon sa mga tao sa mga gamefowl farms at mga sabungan (We should also include backyard and gamefowl farms in the implementation of biosecurity plans. We know that the contact of birds to people is close especially in gamefowl farms and cockpits) ,” Binay said.
The senator also urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to review existing biosecurity plans, especially the records and documentation of poultry farms.
“Dapat din pong mag-review ng existing plans; at paigtingin ang information and education campaign sa pag-identify at pag-educate sa ating mga farm workers tungkol sa biosecurity, identification ng bird flu, yung modes of transmission from birds to humans, signs and symptoms nito, at ipa pang relevant information (We should also review existing plans and heighten information and education campaign in identifying and educating our farm workers about biosecurity, identification of bird flu, the modes of transmission from birds to humans, its signs and symptoms, and other relevant information),” Binay said.
Binay also said that farm owners and personnel are part of the identification and control of the spread of the bird flu in their farms.
“Kasama po ang farm owners at personnel sa laban kontra sa bird flu, at nananawagan po ako sa kanila na i-report agad sa mga kinauukulan ang mga kaso ng bird flu, kahit na suspetsado pa lang. Mabuti na po ang maagang identification and control (Farm owners and personnel are included in the fight against bird flu and I call on them to report immediately to the authorities the cases of bird flu even the unconfirmed cases. It is better to be identified and controlled early),” the senator said.
She added that the DA and the environment department should also monitor migrating wild birds which stop at Pampanga, especially in Candaba swamp.
“Sinasabi nila na pwedeng maging carrier ng bird flu ang mga wild birds, kaya kailangan din maging alerto ang DA at DENR personnel sa mga ibon na may signs and symptoms ng bird flu. Dapat din po itong tutukan upang maiwasan ang paglipat mula sa mga wild birds patungo sa domestic poultry (They say wild birds can be carrier of bird flu that is why DA and the DENR personnel should become alert of birds that show signs and symptoms of the flu. We should focus on this to prevent dispersal from wild birds to domestic poultry),” Binay said.
“Hindi po tayo dapat maging kampante sa mga ganitong klaseng sakit dahil masakit sa bulsa ito, lalo na sa mga farm owners na kailangan puksain ang mga alaga. I also call on the DA and the local veterinary offices to start rollingout as well as planning and reviewing their contingency plans (We should not be complacent of these kinds of diseases because it is financially problematic especially for farm farmers who need to destroy their animals),” Binay added.
On Friday, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza virus after the deaths of 37,000 poultry chickens, quails, and ducks in San Luis, Pampanga.
Following the outbreak, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda declared the entire province under state of calamity.
Declaring a state of calamity in the province means the provincial government would released the funds to aid affected farmers.