Thousands of egg-laying chickens slaughtered after bird flu virus spotted in Pampanga

<i>Photo: Department of Agriculture</i>
Photo: Department of Agriculture

Nearly 40,000 chickens were culled by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in an egg-producing farm in San Luis, Pampanga after detecting AH5N6, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza better known as the bird flu virus.

In its statement yesterday, the BAI said that their team have “humanely culled a total of 38,701 head of layers [egg-laying chickens] and disposed of them properly, employing the protocols under the Avian Influenza Protection Program of the Philippine Government.”

Read: Duterte, former president Arroyo, eat chicken from bird flu-affected areas to show it’s safe

DA-BAI attributed the emergence of bird flu in the farm from migratory birds flying into the area. The Environmental Department cited that some 150,000 migratory birds nest and breed annually in Central Luzon alone.

Bird flu can be passed on to humans and can be spread through the air, manure, and other types of contact.

A team of veterinarians and animal health officers also surveyed other areas near the proximity of the infected farm, and the BAI urged farmers “to protect and shield their farms from the entry of migratory birds, and more importantly, immediately report any unusual poultry mortalities.”

Pampanga, previously the epicenter of avian influenza in the country, was placed under a state of calamity in 2017 after suffering a bird flu outbreak, with the first cases appearing in San Luis.

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