After the detection and confirmation of bird flu on August 11, 2017 in Pampanga, the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Animal Industry and the Local Government Units (LGU) have been conducting continuous surveillance in nearby municipalities. Also, there is a commissioned research on factors increasing the likelihood of occurrence of bird flu.

Disease confirmation

Poultry farms with one day mortality of 3% of the total population are considered suspect farms where an initial screening test will be conducted. As protocol, after the screening test, a confirmatory test will follow. The disease confirmation will be performed by the Animal Disease Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory (ADDRL).

Disease management of suspected and confirmed cases

LGU veterinarians should inform the regional and national authorities of suspected poultry farms after the observance of mortality and screening test results. The laboratory results are discussed with the farm owner. The farm owner has two options: (1) to wait for the laboratory confirmation or (2) for immediate depopulation of the farm. Depopulation is an accepted control measure for any disease.

Incidence in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija

With observed mortality in ready to lay chickens (paitluging manok) in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, the affected farm underwent screening test for bird flu. Several samples yielded positive results to the screening test. The initial findings were discussed to the owner and the latter opted for immediate depopulation. The local government authorities assisted the farm in implementing the culling procedures.

DA confirmed the presence of the disease after ensuring that movement control for live poultry and their by-products is in place and established.

To date, there was no reported case of Avian Influenza in broiler chickens.

Way Forward

In line with this, the BAI is requesting the cooperation of everyone in protecting the poultry industry. The poultry sector specifically the farms that tested negative for bird flu has suffered a lot from the previous bird flu outbreak. These farms have not yet fully recovered from their losses.

The Bureau is also assuring the public that AI surveillance activities are on-going in accordance with the AIPP Manual of Procedures and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.