81K chicken culled as bird flu hits SoCot poultry farm

By Roel Osano

September 19, 2022, 7:08 pm

<p>South Cotabato provincial veterinary office chief Dr. Flora Bigot.<em> (Photo courtesy of Agri Tayo Soccsksargen)</em></p>

South Cotabato provincial veterinary office chief Dr. Flora Bigot. (Photo courtesy of Agri Tayo Soccsksargen)

KORONADAL CITY – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET) of South Cotabato has appealed to the public to be "extra cautious" following the infiltration of the Avian Influenza (AI) virus in a commercial poultry farm in Tantangan town.

Dr. Flora Bigot, the PVET chief, warned Monday that the AI virus that hit the chicken farm in Barangay Magon of Tantangan since last week is transmissible to humans.

South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., in a separate interview, said at least 81,000 heads of chickens worth PHP35 million were depopulated in the poultry farm that he declined to identify.

Bigot said the bird flu virus can be transmitted to humans through direct contact, eating of half cook meat or eggs of an infected fowl, and when the virus is inhaled.

“The AI is also a threat to our poultry industry as it is highly contagious in birds, chicken, ducks, quails, and other fowl families,” Bigot said.

PVET staff is still conducting surveillance within the seven-kilometer radius and one-kilometer quarantine area of the index case.

“As of now, aside from coronavirus disease 2019, we are also threatened by avian influenza,” Bigot added.

She called on the public to report to their office deaths in chickens and other poultry animals for them to verify and conduct blood samples. (PNA)