LAOAG CITY — Newcastle disease or avian pest has struck about 9,000 chickens in commercial and backyard poultry farms here affecting at least seven municipalities in the province.

Based on latest report of the Provincial Veterinary Office, confirmed reports of avian pest were traced in Dingras, Marcos, Banna, Badoc, Burgos, Bangui and Pagudpud.

Provincial Veterinarian Loida Valenzuela confirmed this on Monday as she reported livestock coordinators in the province are currently monitoring the situation in every barangay (village).

“As of this morning, there are 9,000 birds affected. We need to have written reporting so we had already issued an advisory to all concerned livestock coordinators,” Valenzuela said.

Now considered an “outbreak”, the Provincial Veterinary Office is trying to help contain the situation though Valenzuela admitted they have limited resources to cover all the birds affected.

Reports said avian pest has been contained in other parts of the Ilocos Region but Ilocos Norte is still monitoring new cases, if any.

Compared to previous years, Valenzuela said this is the first time in the province that the PVO recorded thousands of birds affected by Newcastle virus, which she theorized the situation worsened due to erratic weather conditions. PNA/northboundasia.com