Resurgence of ‘Newcastle Disease’ in poultry farms worries DA
An old but highly contagious disease recently struck several poultry farms in Luzon, much to the dismay of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the government is now monitoring the resurgence of “Newcastle Disease” on the country’s poultry industry and is looking for ways to contain the spread of the infection from neighboring farms.
The disease first reported cases of ND in December after Typhoon “Nona” devastated southern and central Luzon. Fighting cocks reportedly started dying.
According to the DA, the government has sent isolates to Australia for genotyping. The results will be known in a week or two.
The DA secretary confirmed cases of ND have already been identified in Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Laguna, Quezon province, and Quezon City.
Alcala said they are already anticipating higher production this year after the poultry subsector posted a 4.17 percent increase from the 2.96-percent it had in 2014.
But the disease can put a damper on the expected production growth for the poultry sector this year if the government fails to come up with mitigating measures to stop the spread of ND.
Jose Reaño, DA undersecretary for livestock operations, said they have directed stakeholders to comply with strict biosecurity and quarantine procedures and urged fighting cock aficionados not to transport their animals to other regions.
“We knew them already [affected by ND] and have directed strict biosecurity and quarantine and possibly zero transport of poultry specially fighting cocks,” Reaño said.
“We have discussed this with stakeholders and vaccine manufacturers and have confirmed it to be ND,” he said.
The agency also said poultry raisers should consider giving their birds follow-up vaccinations.
Jayson Cainglet, executive director of the Samahang Industriya sa Agrikultura (SINAG) expressed full awareness of the DA’s directive and said they are already applying methods to mitigate and stop the outbreak.
“It has already been there before and the industry is trying to cope and has been doing its share to prevent the disease through improved farming technology and sanitation, better animal health care, etc.,” Cainglet said.
ND attacks the lungs and nervous system of birds and poultry, and can potentially annihilate 100 percent of a commercial herd of chicken. (By: Ched Romulo)