Agri NorMin spearheads a meeting to boost its measures against the entry of avian influenza in Region 10.


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – To strengthen border protection against entry of the highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) virus in the region, the agriculture department of Region 10 (DA-10) spearheaded a meeting on March 2, 2022, in this city.

DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado called on a meeting in response to the reported H5N1 occurrence in Region III that affected the quail and duck farms in Mexico and Candaba, Pampanga and Baliuag, Bulacan on February 12, this year.

According to DA-10 Julesben Caesar C. Maquiling, DVM, Avian influenza is a notifiable highly contagious viral disease that affects several species of food-producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, etc.), including pet and wild birds.

“Occasionally mammals, including humans, may contract avian influenza. That is why it is of utmost importance because the disease detected is a variant of H5N1, which can trigger illness in humans. However, in the Philippines there are no reported cases of humans showing symptoms of Avian Flu-like symptoms,” he added.

DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga said the proactive action of the task force is to protect the poultry industry of the region which ranks third nationwide with a production of 36.05 thousand metric tons, liveweight on July to September of 2021 based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data.

“Measures are undertaken to prevent the entry of AI through effective surveillance and proper coordination with competent authorities of the DA’s attached agencies, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS),” she added.

For this, the task force intensifies the implementation of Memorandum Circular No. 05, series of 2022 or the “Guidelines on the local movement of domestic and wild birds and poultry products and by-products during the AI surveillance period,” which includes strengthening ports of entry in the region (seaports and airports) manned by the DA-BAI quarantine officers.

Blood collection and Oro-pharyngeal swabs of birds particularly on the identified wetlands in the region will be pursued as part of the surveillance and monitoring activities.

As agreed, DA-10 is set to convene the private stakeholders on the information and update on AI.

Present in the meeting were Provincial and City Veterinary Offices of Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City, respectively, with OneDA member agencies- BAI and NMIS.# (RDMElloren)