The Daily Manila Shimbun


Military can help in culling fowls to speed up clearing of bird flu outbreak: Palace

August 15, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines could help in culling the fowls infected by bird flu in order to immediately address the outbreak, Malacanang said on Tuesday. In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella acknowledged the insufficient number of personnel from the Department of Agriculture (DAI), including the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), to clear at least six farms in San Luis, Pampanga where the avian flu outbreak has been declared. "Despite their lack of personnel, we urge DA and BAI to expedite the various clearing to minimize the losses and hasten the recovery of the poultry industry. Perhaps, if needed, the AFP can field more men to cull birds. This is, after all, no small calamity," he said. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol earlier said some 200,000 fowls have to be culled using carbon dioxide in order to contain the avian flu outbreak in San Carlos and Sta. Rita villages in San Luis town. Abella said the Palace sympathizes with the plight of the farmers and other sectors in the poultry industry, which are burdened by the "drastic measures needed to contain and eradicate our first ever avian flu outbreak." The DA has put up a 1-kilometer quarantine zone in the areas affected and 7-kilometer control zone for surveillance. The BAI has also established 12 quarantine checkpoints within 1-km radius to check the incoming and outgoing vehicles moving livestock and poultry and to limit animal movements within the area. Pinol said poultry products from the affected areas could not be brought to other places in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Celerina Monte/DMS