South Negros closely monitoring migratory birds to curb avian flu

By Nanette Guadalquiver

December 1, 2023, 7:28 pm

BACOLOD CITY – The Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) is closely monitoring the presence of migratory birds in southern Negros Occidental, especially in the area of Sipalay City, as part of the efforts to curb highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu infections.

“We continue to monitor the migratory birds in Sipalay, which has become a landing site. Now that it is winter season in other countries, they would usually flock here from December to February,” Dr. Placeda Lemana, provincial veterinarian, said in an interview.

On Friday, she said they conducted surveillance and collected blood samples of birds and fowls in the said city, which were then submitted to the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry.

Negros Occidental, which is free of the bird flu, still bans poultry and its by-products from Luzon and Mindanao, which have reported cases affecting layer, native chicken and quail farms.

For about a year now, the provincial government has been prohibiting the entry of live birds and poultry products such as meat and eggs but allows day-old chicks and hatching eggs, including broiler, layer and breeder, with veterinary health certificate and certification issued by the PVO.

“This is to safeguard the poultry industry as well as to protect the general public from the effects of the bird flu disease,” Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said in an executive order.

Negros Occidental has a PHP8-billion poultry industry and is among the top poultry-producing provinces in the country. (PNA)