Gov’t monitoring poultry products after Pampanga bird flu outbreak
Malacañang said on Sunday that it is closely monitoring the quality and price of poultry products in the markets following the first bird flu outbreak in the country.
“We are closely watching the quality and the price of poultry products in the markets as the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced the culling of thousands of chicken in Pampanga,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
On Friday, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol confirmed the outbreak after tests conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) revealed H5 strain of the avian flu virus had infected fowls in a farm in San Luis, Pampanga.
Piñol later announced that up to 400,000 chickens would be slaughtered “but upon actual inspection 200,000 birds will be culled.”
“We believe DA has acted fast on the issue and has managed to isolate and contain the virus,” said Abella.
The spokesman said concerned government agencies are now looking at businesses that might take advantage of the situation. They are also monitoring the price of raw and processed chicken meat in the markets.
“While we assure the public that there would be no price increase in chicken meat as there is only one area affected by the avian flu, we must see to it that uncontaminated meat is sold in the markets,” Abella added.
Celia Carlos, director of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, said it was the first avian flu outbreak in the country. JE
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