ZAMBOANGA CITY— Zamboanga City is still a bird flu-free city despite being a pathway of migratory birds known as swallows, officials said.
Dr. Arnedo Agbayani, assistant city veterinarian, on Wednesday disclosed that they have never stopped conducting blood sampling and other related laboratory tests to monitor the presence of avian influenza even before the bird flu outbreak in Luzon.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol declared last week an avian influenza outbreak in the province of Pampanga.
Agbayani said the numerous samples they regularly submitted to the avian influenza laboratory yielded negative result for any strain of bird flu.
The Office of the City Veterinarian (OCVet) maintains an avian influenza laboratory in Barangay Tumaga, this city.
“Hopefully, we can maintain the negative avian flu strain here in Zamboanga City. Rest assured that the City Veterinarian Office is regularly conducting activities to monitor the presence or absence of bird flu in our city,” Agbayani said.
Herds of swallows usually flock daily to this city and stay overnight on electrical cables in downtown area. They are gone before sunrise.
Agbayani has advised owners of poultry and duck farms to strictly implement biosecurity measures to prevent the entry of avian flu influenza in this city.
Biosecurity refers to procedures used to prevent the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms in poultry flocks.
Dr. Joseleo Galicia, regional veterinary officer of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said they have been vigilant in coordination with the local government partners to prevent the entry of avian influenza in this city.