By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) head, Dr. Renante Decena, appeared before the Negros Occidental Provincial Board earlier this week, during their regular session, in response to a request to provide a report on how the province has dealt with preventing the entry of avian influenza, or bird flu, into Negros Occidental.
Decena informed the officials his office took all necessary precautions after the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) banned the shipment of poultry products from Luzon.
The Department of Health (DOH) earlier declared a bird flu outbreak in Pampanga.
However, the PVO chief noted, with the ban lifted this week, he insisted the agency will continue to monitor the entry of all poultry entering the province.
In an administrative circular, dated August 22, the Department of Agriculture lifted the shipment ban on poultry products originating from Luzon, claiming the industry standard temperature on such goods are “suitable for the inactivation of avian influenza.”
Last week, it was reported Panay faced the potential of an egg shortage after their shipment of eggs from Batangas was blocked by BAI. Traders in Panay were left with utilizing their buffer stock, or reserve supply. However, the recent decision by the Department of Agriculture clears the way for eggs to be shipped from Luzon.
Meanwhile, Decena said local gamefowl breeders have requested an extension to the ban, which has since resulted in a letter to the Provincial Board asking the body pass a resolution endorsing a one-month ban extension, and forwarding it to Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol./WDJ