SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The breakout of the Newcastle disease in the Ilocos has killed 109,255 chickens with 65 municipalities in the region’s four provinces affected, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office here.
Dr. Annie Bares, chief of DA’s field operation’s division, said that some 11, 700 birds, particularly native chickens and fighting cocks, were still at risk and the subject of vaccination by livestock inspectors.
“We are now controlling the new cases and have already disposed to local government units (LGUs) 206, 000 doses of NCD vaccines. Our livestock inspectors are helping the LGUs on how to handle those infected with the virus,” Bares said.
Bares said the disease, known in Ilocos region as “pangok,” has affected 14 municipalities each in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, 17 in
La Union and 20 in Pangasinan. NCD is a regular ailment of chicken.
She said that NCD is caused by a highly- contagious virus in the environment which can “blow- up” when the weather condition goes from extreme hot to extreme cold, causing a breakdown of the bird’s immune system.
Signs vary on the presence of the virus on afflicted chickens but symptoms include balance problems when the bird moves in circle, tremors, bloody diarrhea, weakness; and partial or total paralysis.
Bares disclosed that there is a slight decrease of supply for native chickens and also a slight increase in prices.
It was learned that the aviary disease has not affected big industries engaged in contract growing for commercial chickens because they have their own vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease. JUN ELIAS/northboundasia.com