La Union chickens bird flu-free

SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union, Aug 14 – The City Veterinarian Officer here declared Monday that chickens and other fowls in this city and the rest of the province are safe from the avian flu that has hit poultry farms in San Luis town in Pampanga province.

The avian flu outbreak, first of its kind in the country, has caused the death of 37,000 chickens in the Pampanga town and threatened hundreds of thousands more, according to the Department of Agriculture.

In a radio interview here, Dr. Flosie Decena, city veterinary officer, said that most chicken supply which is sold in the San Fernando Wet Market comes from the neighboring Pangasinan Province and from commercial poultry farms, one from the village of Siboan-Otong here.

Decena said that the chickens delivered to La Union from Pangasinan dressing plants are thoroughly inspected by quarantine checkpoints set and manned by the Provincial Veterinary Office to strictly monitor infected chicken northbound, particularly from Pampanga.

She said that they have banned chicken and other fowns coming from the said province and have instructed field monitoring personnel to increase awareness, including fowl meat market stalls if there are unauthorized increase of prizes.

“There is also enough chicken supply in La Union at present, so we need not to worry,” Decena added, “We need to monitor the prizes so that we can report it to the Department of Agriculture.”

Decena also appealed to La Union residents to cook chicken meat well to prevent any illnesses that may be caused by the virus. It was learned, however, that avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans.