By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) is closely monitoring the arrival of migratory birds in the province as there is a possibility that they could be carrying the virus that causes avian influenza or bird flu.
PVO head Dr. Placeda Lemana said authorities in Sipalay City, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, are conducting the monitoring.
Sipalay is known as a flyway for birds that migrate to the south to avoid the cold weather conditions in the north.
The birds fly back to the north in February when conditions start to become warmer.
Lemana said blood samples from migratory birds are forwarded to the Bureau of Animal Industry to identify the presence of bird flu.
Based on data released by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office in 2020, 80 migratory bird species are found in the province, mostly in wetland areas.
Some of these birds are also listed as “threatened” under the International Union for Conservation of Nature./DGB, WDJ