Philippines intensifies measures against avian influenza

198 cases have been recorded since January
calendar icon 16 August 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

To counter the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus in the country, the Philippines Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) vowed to continue prioritisation of immediate information dissemination, thorough disease investigation, immediate culling and proper disposal of all remaining birds in affected farms, intensive surveillance in the 1-kilometer quarantine zone around the infected farms and heightened transport requirements for poultry commodities, requiring negative AI tests and other documents.

“The BAI is steadfast in mitigating the spread of AI, protecting the poultry industry of our country and ensuring the safety of our consumers.” DA-BAI OIC-Reildrin Morales reiterated.

Private laboratories have also been granted permission to conduct AI testing through the DA Memorandum Circular No. 28, series of 2022 to help alleviate the burden of government laboratories due to the influx of samples, the ministry said in a press release.

Aside from regular consultation and coordination with the poultry industry stakeholders and coordination with the DA Regional Field Offices, local government units, and other related agencies and offices, the DA-BAI also reports to the Department of Health (DOH)’s Epidemiology Bureau and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) on the current status of AI in the Philippines.

In a memorandum dated August 1, the DA-BAI confirmed the presence of Asian avian influenza subtype H5N1 in 17 provinces throughout the country. The AI outbreak was confirmed to have entered the Philippines in January 2022. Since then, a total of 198 cases were recorded nationwide, resulting in the mortality of 182,968 heads and the culling of 1,267,055 poultries.

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