Philippines to cull 200,000 fowl after bird flu outbreak
The Philippines will cull at least 200,000 birds after confirming its first avian flu outbreak, but no animal-to-human transmission has been reported, officials said.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol said he ordered the culling of all fowl within a kilometre of six affected farms in northern Pampanga province’s San Luis town.
The area has been declared a quarantine zone with a sevenkilometre surveillance area also established around the farms.
Pinol said he was informed Thursday that 37,000 birds have died from avian influenza subtype H5, which can cause illness and deaths in both animals and humans.
Experts believe the ducks to be the virus carrier, he added. He said he has informed President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Health and will report the outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health.
Pinol said farmers did not immediately report the deaths, which spiked in July, because they thought they were from ordinary poultry disease.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol, centre, gestures during a news conference on the confirmation of the first bird flu case in the country.