December 1, 2023

There are no recent cases of avian influenza or bird flu reported in Benguet, according to the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian.

Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said they have already disinfected the earlier reported cases in Catlubong, Buguias and Tublay Central, Tublay on March 3 and 7, respectively.

Tiongan said monitoring and disease surveillance is continuing, especially in the affected areas. 

She said the farm owner in Tublay is the only one affected while one of the neighbors of the affected raiser in Buguias was infected.

The farm owners, who are backyard duck and chicken raisers, earlier reported the death of a total of 150 ducks and 70 chickens.

As a protocol, the office conducted the culling or depopulation of a total of 27 remaining fowls within the one-kilometer radius so as not to cause the spread of the disease. 

Based on the office’s investigation, both raisers said they bought broiler culls and butchered it in their respective residences, which is near their farms. She said the live birds butchered must have been infected and there was no proper biosecurity observed in the infected farms.

Tiongan said the Department of Agriculture would soon provide sentinel birds or birds to be used for testing if there is still a presence of the virus in the affected farms.

Due to the reported cases in the province, Tiongan said some of the businessmen engaged in selling live birds were hard up in applying for shipping permits for transport to the province at the Bureau of Animal Industry.

She clarified the reason was due to the DA memorandum circular dated April 6, where movement of all species of live birds (poultry and non-poultry) from mainland Luzon to Region IV-B, Visayas and Mindanao is temporarily suspended for 30 days. 

She said their office has coordinated with the BAI, adding the province is not a producer of live chicken, but a consumer therefore the memorandum should not cover the province.

To allow for the shipment of live birds from non-infected areas, the office then provides the document “acceptance of shipment” to the various business owners to show to the BAI when applying for the shipping permit. – Ofelia C. Empian