MANILA, Philippines – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Thursday, August 17, that the mayors in Pampanga accepted his proposal to temporarily stop cockfighting in the province for the next two weeks, following the announcement of the avian influeza or bird flu outbreak in the town of San Luis.
“Kanina…sinuggest ko lang kay Governor [Lilia] Pineda na ihinto muna sabong kasi ‘di ba ang sabong involves movement of fowls from one place to another, and she agreed. Sabi niya, ‘Although I don’t have the power to stop it, nasa mayors, I will relay your suggestion to the mayors,’ and the mayors accepted the proposal,” Piñol told reporters.
(Earlier today, I suggested to Governor Lilia Pineda to temporarily stop cockfighting because cockfighting involves movement of fowls from one place to another, and she agreed. She said, “Although I don’t have the power to stop it, it’s with the mayors, I will relay your suggestion to the mayors,” and the mayors accepted the proposal.)
He added, “So for the next two weeks, ihihinto muna ‘yung sabong dahil ang tina-target natin matapos lang ‘yung 21 days na incubation period ng virus.”
(So for the next two weeks, we will temporarily stop cockfighting because our target is to finish the 21-day incubation period of the virus.)
It has been almost a week since the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced last August 11 that there is a bird flu outbreak affecting 6 poultry farms in San Luis, Pampanga. The DA has since culled about 92,000 birds and will cull 400,000 more in the next 3 days.
The department is still waiting for confirmatory tests from the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, but Piñol said it’s “almost certain” that the samples will test negative for H5N6, a strain that is transmissible to humans.
“Kasi nag-negative na sa N1. At saka isa pa, from a practical point of view, ‘yung mga farm workers nandoon since the start of the outbreak in April, wala pa namang nagkakasakit sa kanila,” he explained.
(Because tests for N1 already turned out negative. And in addition, from a practical point of view, the farm workers have been there since the start of the outbreak in April, and none of them have fallen sick.)
Piñol on Thursday issued a directive activating biosecurity teams that will conduct an audit of all existing poultry and livestock farms in Pampanga first, and then all over the country. (READ: MAP: Barangays near bird flu outbreak in Pampanga)
“The task of the biosecurity team would be to inspect the biosecurity measures and protocols being implemented in the farms in Pampanga to prevent another outbreak like this… We have to improve the biosecurity setup in the farms all over the country so that a similar problem will not occur again,” he added. – Rappler.com
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