LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Pangasinan is avian influenza or bird flu-free province.
This was stated by Dr. Eric Jose Perez, provincial veterinarian, before members of the provincial board headed by Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. in its regular session on August 14, as he cleared that it is safe to consume chicken meats.
It can be recalled that Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol announced last August 11 during the Luzon mango Stakeholders’ Forum at the Sison Auditorium that there is a case of bird flu outbreak in San Luis, Pampanga which is the first case in the country that infected about 200,000 fowls, including chickens and ducks.
Promptly reacting to the situation, the provincial government through the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPVet) alerted all field personnel who are assigned at established animal checkpoints positioned in various towns to prevent the entry of contaminated fowls in the province.
As such, Dr. Perez said 24/7 quarantine alert is being implemented to avoid shipments coming from Pampanga where the fowl virus has been identified. Meeting among sanitary/meat inspectors is also on deck, he added, noting that an intensive information dissemination campaign is among the activities to be conducted to keep the public well-informed.
When asked by the provincial board if the province has enough supply of chicken, Perez noted affirmative stressing that the public need not worry of supply or commodity scarcity.
Meanwhile, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Jeremy Agerico Rosario who chairs the committee on health urged Pangasinenses to practice proper hygiene at all times.
Vice Governor Calimlim, on the other, warned the public to remain calm but be vigilant.
As this developed, the Bureau of Animal Industry issued a memorandum circular. As stated in the memo: “No movement of live domestic and wild birds, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen will be allowed from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao.”
By Dexter A. See