DAVAO CITY, Aug. 14 — The Department of Agriculture (DA 11) has assured that Davao Region remains free of Avian Influenza (AI) Virus.
DA 11 issued the assurance alongside first case of bird flu outbreak in San Luis, Pampanga where close to 40,000 chickens were culled and placed the province in a state of calamity on Friday.
Bird flu is an infectious type of influenza that spreads among birds and can affect human’s health.
Dr. Dannie Apelo, DA-AI coordinator, clarified that it is safe to consume chicken sold in the region. Despite its safety, he also asked the public to be vigilant especially on the source of poultry products.
“If we are consuming chicken, please ask kung saan ito galing. Right now, there is nothing to worry about because there is no reported case of AI in Region 11 since we mostly sourced our poultry supplies locally,” Apelo said.
In the advent of the outbreak in Pampanga, Apelo said DA’s mandate in addressing the problem is to ensure the region to be bird flu-free by preventing contamination to our domestic fowl.
“As of now, our quarantine service is closely monitoring to prevent entry of poultry and its products from infected areas to enter the region. Even just one confirmed bird-flu case in a particular area, it will already be considered an outbreak,” Apelo added.
Despite the outbreak of AI in Luzon, the supply of poultry products in Davao Region remains steady, according to DA.
Apelo said there is no reported shortage since most of the poultry products sold in Region XI are sourced from local suppliers. “We have enough supply of poultry products since we have our regular suppliers from local poultry farms like Magnolia, Bounty, Davao Farms, Vitarich in Davao City as well as from the provinces within the region particularly Tagum City and Compostela Valley,” he said.
Ricardo Oñate Jr., DA-XI regional director, met with city veterinarian Dr. Cerelyn Pinili and Councilor Marissa Abella, committee chair on food and agriculture, to discuss measures to maintain Davao Region AI-free status.
“We observe and implement quarantine protocol which includes confiscation shipment of poultry products without permits by the DA-Quarantine. If it is coming from Luzon, we will not allow it to enter the region. We will conduct surveillance by getting blood samples of chicken of various poultry raisers,” Oñate added. He added,
“We will also intensify information campaign across various communication platforms for the general public to be cautious of the signs and symptoms of bird flu virus.” Oñate also said they are currently contacting game fowl and poultry breeders for an emergency meeting to further address the issue. (Cherry Mae Palicte/PNA)