PALAYAN City, Nueva Ecija -- The Department of Agriculture and the provincial government of Nueva Ecija are strictly monitoring suspected cases of avian flu virus that struck a poultry and a quail farm in the towns of San Isidro and Jaen in the province’s fourth district.
Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol yesterday said confirmatory laboratory tests are now being conducted on samples extracted from said affected farms in the province while quarantine measures such as checkpoint operations are also already undertaken to prevent its spread to nearby areas.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga opisyales natin sa Nueva Ecija at naagapan nila ito at nai-report agad sa Deparment of Agriculture. But it is still subject for confirmation if bird flu nga po ito, it is still undergoing confirmatory tests. Kung saka-sakali, ito ang first area reported outside of San Luis, Pampanga. Ibig sabihin, after several days of incubation period ng virus may nakalabas na,” Piñol told a radio interview.
At the provincial capitol here, Atty. Alejandro R. Abesamis, provincial administrator, identified those areas suspected to be hit by the avian flu virus a poultry farm in Bgy. San Roque, San Isidro and a quail farm in Bgy. Imbunia, Jaen.
As per instructions of Gov. Czarina D. Umali, he said they have coordinated with Sec. Piñol and his office including Usec. Ariel T. Cayanan in conducting pro-active and restrictive measures against the virus and in issuing regular updates to each town and cities of the province.
Abesamis said they already urged affected poultry farm owners to do voluntary depopulation of their farms. He said the poultry owners are willing to cooperate knowing that the DA is going to compensate them.
Affected by the suspected flu virus was a quail farm in Imbunia, Jaen with 9,000 heads that were totally wiped out.
“Buti may naabutan pang tatlong buhay na pugo at iyon nga ang naging sample natin for testing upang dalhin sa region,” Abesamis said.
Piñol said it is imperative to establish quarantine protocols such as making an imaginary firewall to be able to prevent the spread of avian influenza.
He defined these firewalls as the putting up of a one-kilometer radius in the affected area, the seven-kilometer radius for the controlled area and the Luzon firewall.