Nueva Ecija guv hopes poultry business back to normal soon

JAEN, Nueva Ecija — Governor Czarina Umali has expressed hope that the poultry industry will recover and bounce back soon following the issuance of protocols covering avian flu.

“The operations to clear the infected areas in Nueva Ecija of avian influenza virus or what we commonly refer to as the bird flu virus is now on its high gear. After we have undergone the prescribed protocols, these areas will be declared clean and safe, and the province’s poultry industry will be business as usual,” Umali said in a statement.

The protocols, she said, were set by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) and the Department of Health (DOH).

“First is to contain the poultry farms within the 1-km radius of the known affected site. Within this radius, all feathered animals will have to be depopulated. This is the culling operations. From the 1-km radius, we add a 7-km radius and this area will be quarantined. The entry and exit of all fowls and poultry products to and from within this area will be strictly prohibited. Fowls that will be culled will be treated with lime before being buried beneath a 2-meter thick of soil,” she explained.

This, as the Philippine Army committed an additional 100 soldiers to beef up its contingent in San Isidro town.

The additional 100 Army troopers are the same personnel who handled the depopulation campaign in San Luis, Pampanga.

The DOH, however, did not give its go-signal after three soldiers were found to have coughs and colds. Another 103 fresh personnel from the Army’s 7th ID were deployed to replace the 100 soldiers.

The Army is tasked with the depopulation of feathered animals within the 1-km radius.

“At the rate we’re going, we can possibly finish depopulation operations by Wednesday,” she said.

The next stage will be disinfecting the poultry houses. Soaping and spraying of disinfectants will be done from roof to foundation for days.

After which, sentinel chickens will be placed inside. If the chickens die, the same procedures will be repeated. If they survive, they will be sent for laboratory tests where blood and internal organs will be thoroughly examined.

“When it is officially declared safe, the poultry houses can be repopulated,” the province’s chief executive said.

Only after this that the quarantine will be lifted, said Umali. “By that time, we can confidently declare that the municipalities of San Isidro and Jaen are avian flu-free,” the governor added. Marilyn Galang/