PH sees bird flu-free November

The Philippine government has already resolved the recent bird flu outbreak in San Luis, Pampanga, but it has to wait until November this year before the country can be declared free from the animal disease.

Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Ronnie Domingo said his agency, in partnership with the local government unit (LGU) of San Luis, Pampanga, already fully addressed the bird flu outbreak that started in an egg producing farm within the municipality.

“It’s really important that there's communication between BAI and LGU. Early reporting and early response helped us address this issue in a short period of time,” Domingo said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday.   

From July 13 to July 17, BAI was able to cull a total of 38,701 head of layers after reporting 460 deaths.

“We should not report new bird flu cases within the next 90 days and then we will write to OIE so they can declare us a bird flu-free country again,” Domingo said.

As part of the efforts to prevent another bird flu outbreak, the Department of Agriculture (DA) recently issued a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products including poultry meat coming from Australia.

This was after Lethbridge, a rural town in Victoria, Australia, reported an outbreak of H7N7 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) or bird flu.

 “There is a need to prevent the entry of HPAI virus to protect the health of the local poultry population,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.