Issue of March 29, 2020
     
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Benguet lifts order on chicken dung ban, alert vs avian flu
by Ofelia C. Empian

Benguet province has lifted the order banning the entry of chicken dung to the province following government assurance that no similar product will come from avian flu-affected areas particularly Nueva Ecija.

Melchor Diclas has issued Executive Order 2020-022 on March 24 allowing the passage of chicken dung traders in quarantine checkpoints through designated cargo lanes.

Diclas cited the earlier issuance of the Department of Agriculture of Memorandum Circular 07-2020, ensuring the unhampered movement of all food and production items including farm inputs.

In an interview, he said chicken dung is considered a farm input in the province thus its movement should not be hampered.

Also, he said the Bureau of Animal Industry has assured strict prohibition of movement of any live poultry and poultry by-products including culled layers or breeders and chicken dung coming from Nueva Ecija.

Earlier, there were confirmed cases of avian influenza subtype H5N6 in Nueva Ecija. This strain of avian flu could be transmitted to humans. 

“Even if they have contained the avian flu, we have to be careful that it will not reach our province because there are a lot of poultry farmers here,” Diclas said.

He said vehicle drivers and helpers should still abide with safety protocols at the quarantine checkpoints and shall be properly thermal-scanned as part of the intensified response against the health threat of the coronavirus disease-2019.

It has been the practice of some farmers in the Cordillera to use chicken dung as a soil conditioner.

The Department of Agriculture has been advising farmers to use the dried and processed chicken dung first for it to be effective and friendly to the soil. 

However, some farmers end up using even the wet and non-processed chicken dung, which affect the soil’s health.

Those using chicken dung as soil conditioners are farmers especially in the northern parts of Benguet and Mountain Province.


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