The Daily Manila Shimbun


Agriculture department assures people chickens, eggs sold in market are safe

August 14, 2017

The Department of Agriculture assured the public chicken  and eggs being sold in the market outside their controlled area in Pampanga area is safe, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol  said Monday.

“Our fear and doubt that the eggs and chicken from the areas outside the contained area and controlled area are unsafe is not true”, Piñol said in a press briefing.

He said the avian influenza (AI) subtype H5 has tested negative in H5N1 which is an showed that the flu is not transmissible from fowls to human.

“We proved in the laboratory test that the flu which hit San Luis is not the type of bird flu which can infect from chicken to human, negative in H5N1 and this is an indication that this is not bad to people”, he said.

Arlene Vytiaco, head of animal disease and control section at the Bureau of Animal Industry, said they will wait for the result of  genetic sequencing from Australia before they can say this cannot infect humans.

At least 18, 685 from the targeted 200, 000 fowls were culled since Saturday. The culling will last until Thursday , Vytiaco said.

Piñol said there is a ban in the shipment of live poultry from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao. Poultry products from Visayas and Mindanao are allowed to be delivered in Luzon.

Luzon to Luzon movement of live poultry and other products can be allowed if it is outside the 7 km control area in Pampanga, he said.

Food companies issued statements Monday saying chicken meat they sell are safe.

San Miguel Foods, Inc. said in their statement on Monday that their poultry farms “remain free of avian flu” after tests were done on their farms and entire broiler flocks.

“Upon immediate testing, our farms and our entire broiler flocks yielded negative results for avian influenza. There are also no manifestations of any symptoms of the disease or any abnormal increase in mortality that are being observed”, they said.

Jollibee Foods Corp. said  their poultry suppliers “confirmed that they are not affected by the current avian flu as they are outside the bio security kilometer range and their most updated tests show no manifestation of any disease.”

“As part of our overall supply risk management against typhoons and diseases such as this, we spread out the sourcing of our poultry requirements across different areas of the country and maintain a roster of reputable suppliers to ensure continuous, secure and safe supply,” said Jollibee.

The agriculture department will allocate P50 million financial assistance for the farms affected by the bird flu outbreak in Pampanga, Piñol said.

He said they will give P25,000 loan assistance to farmers where P5,000 is a grant from the government. The farms affected will get P80 for each fowl culled.

Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda said in an interview with ANC local poultry farms owners  outside the 7 km area need to submit 30 pieces of their poultry to be tested by the Bureau of Animal Industry.

She said the avian flu greatly affects Pampanga because Candaba loses P4 million to P8 million a day.

Piñol said the flu may have originated from the smuggling of poultry products from other countries especially China since it is not a bird flu free country.

Pineda said the Bureau of Animal Industry Enrico Garzon Jr. said the flu may have originated from the migratory birds because San Luis is near a lake where migratory birds like to stay.

Piñol said a bio security team will be created to inspect all poultry and livestock farms in the Philippines to make sure farms are following bio-diversity measures. Alanna Ambi/DMS