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PIA Press Release

Two avian flu laboratories upcoming for Mindanao

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (6 September) -- The government is building three Avian Flu laboratories, two of which are in Mindanao and the other in the Visayas.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) report stated that these infrastructures are largely funded by a grant from the Japanese government through the Japan Trust Fund.

The projects are also provided with technical assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Office of Internationale des Epizooties (OIE) or the Animal Health Organization.

In a press statement BAI officer-in-charge Davinio Catbagan said the laboratories are now being built in the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Zamboanga.

He said that once operational, these laboratories will complement the ongoing work being done at the Regional Avian Influenza Diagnostic Laboratory (RAIDL) in Pampanga, the country's first diagnostic facility dedicated to promptly detect the AI virus.

Catbagan said DA would ensure that these additional facilities fully comply with international standards for a biosafety laboratory and would be capable of conducting various tests to swiftly detect the presence of AI virus in both live and dead bird samples.

Setting up of additional avian flu laboratories he said will help keep the Philippines as one of only three countries in Southeast Asia totally free of avian influenza or the bird flu virus. The other AI free countries are Singapore and Brunei.

The move of the government in putting additional facilities is to look after the country's multibillion-peso poultry industry and continue shielding Filipinos of the virus that has already killed 192 people worldwide. (PIA XI) [top]

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