Issue of January 7, 2018
     
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Benguet reorganizes Avian Flu Task Force
by Susan C. Aro / PIO

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The provincial government is intensifying efforts on the campaign for the prevention of avian flu through the reorganization of the Provincial Avian Influenza Task Force and the passage of an ordinance for animal quarantine.

The reorganized Provincial Avian Task Force is chaired by Gov. Crescencio Pacalso with members from municipal governments, provincial offices, line agencies, police force, and the academe.

The creation of the task force is anchored on the Avian Influenza Protection Program of the national government.

Provincial Veterinarian Miriam Tiongan said the province is a high risk area for avian influenza as it is a market destination of live birds for food and chicken dung used as soil conditioner in vegetable farms.

Tiongan said there was an upsurge of poultry mortality and morbidity last August until the end of 2017 caused by New Castle Disease, infectious bronchitis and infectious laryngotracheitis. These were found in sporadic areas across the 13 municipalities of the province.

Provincial officials also enacted Ordinance 17-216 setting the quarantine regulations of the province. The measure encompasses the quarantine of avian influenza which seeks to ensure public health and safety and to protect the interest of the local animal and farming industries.

The ordinance applies to all animal dealers/traders, handlers of meat, meat products and its by-products, fish and aquatic products, and bee and its products in the province and those who will enter the province.

If quarantine measures are not strictly implemented and not looked into such as the entry of poultry products which are the carriers of avian flu, it is possible for the disease to mutate, progress, and be transmitted from animals to humans, which, Tiongan said, is fatal.


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