Authorities in Negros Oriental are closely monitoring at least seven towns and cities against avian influenza as migratory birds continue arriving from countries experiencing the winter season.
Dr. Alfonso Tundag, quarantine officer of the Bureau of Animal Industry in Dumaguete City, said on Thursday, February 8, they are particularly watching areas visited regularly by migratory birds escaping the cold climate or have the highest population of ducks.
These areas are Canlaon City, Ayungon, Bais City, Tanjay City, Siaton, Sta. Catalina, and Bayawan City.
The migratory birds are usually found at mangrove areas, rice fields, and fish ponds, such as in Bais City and Tanjay City where there are a lot of mangroves and fish ponds, he said.
“We conduct regular testing twice a year on blood sampling of fowls from these areas to ensure that they have not been infected by avian influenza,” Tundag said in vernacular.
The blood testing is done some time at the start of each year and in September, and the samples are sent to a laboratory in Cebu.
So far, the office has not received a single reported case of suspected bird flu or deaths involving ducks or chickens, the official said.
Meanwhile, the province is also tightening its borders against the entry of ducks and other fowls from areas where avian influenza has been reported, he added. (PNA)