Piñol confirms discovery of bird flu virus in Pampanga poultry farm


LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Aug. 11 — Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol has ordered a lockout of the whole town of San Luis, Pampanga where a strain of the dreaded bird flu virus called AH 5 was discovered and at least 38,000 chicken have already died so far.

Piñol made the revelation when he keynoted Friday the Luzon Mango Stakeholders’ Forum attended by some 500 mango growers at the Sison Auditorium in Lingayen.

He said that the bird flu strain was discovered and validated a few days ago by a task force from his office that reported its findings to him Thursday night.

After addressing the forum, Piñol and party left immediately for Pampanga to personally assess the situation.

He said there were indications the deadly strain came from ducks allegedly smuggled by unscrupulous traders from abroad.

To prevent the spread of the disease, the Agriculture secretary has ordered the immediate mass slaughter of some 500,000 chickens from the affected town and the prevention of transport of poultry in and out of San Luis while the contamination is being contained.

Piñol advised the people, especially from San Luis, Pampanga, not to panic over this development as there is no animal to human contamination that was found yet.

At the same time, he ordered a strict quarantine regulation in San Luis and adjacent towns of Pampanga to make sure that the virus is contained.

Piñol vowed to do everything he can to control the situation. PNA-northboundasia.com