Poultry growers to meet to assess bird flu protocols
Stakeholders of the poultry industry and officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) will meet anytime this week for a post-crisis analysis after the country’s first bird flu outbreak.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the one-day assessment hopes to draw more realistic and effective plans of action to tighten biosecurity measures to prevent the outbreak of poultry diseases in the country.
“The Bio-Security Audit Program which I ordered started right after the outbreak was reported in Pampanga needs to be institutionalised with the stakeholders themselves identifying and agreeing to a set of guidelines to ensure cleanliness in the farms,” Piñol said.
“Many of the farms I saw in the course of my visits to the Pampanga, for example, do not have the basic bio-security facilities, like a simple footbath and vehicle disinfection facility. The farms do not even have a disposal area for dead fowls or wastes within the farm area,” he added.
In several areas in Pampanga, for example, many of the poultry farms sit on fishpond areas with the chicken wastes just falling into the pond and polluting the water.
The disposal of chicken dung and its processing into organic fertiliser will also be one of the proposed actions to be implemented in all provinces with existing poultry farms.
Piñol said another area that needs to be reviewed will be protocols used in declaring the quarantine areas and the restrictions on the movement of poultry and poultry products.
“While we have effectively contained the first case of Bird Flu in the country, there is a need to learn lessons from it so that in the future the situation could be handled more efficiently,” Piñol said.