Veterinarians to conduct nationwide campaign against bird flu
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (7 September) -- The government is harnessing a nationwide team of veterinarians to undertake a national educational campaign for poultry and livestock growers on the threat and perils of the Avian Flu virus.
Bureau of Animal Industry officer-in-charge Davinio Catbagan in a press statement said the importance of keeping Philippine poultry farms virus-free cannot be underestimated because it would have a devastating impact on the industry.
He also said that a bird flu outbreak will impact on demand and prices of other staple food items such as pork, beef and fish as consumers shift away from poultry products.
In the event of a suspected outbreak, he said the avian influenza task force has organized a Rapid Action Team that can be mobilized and deployed within 24 hours to take appropriate measures.
Under the Avian Influenza Protection Program (AIPP), a preparedness and response plans at the provincial, municipal and city levels are already set up.
Catrbagan said that inorder to increase the country's preparedness level the AIPP will also cover the training of more military men and volunteers to adequately and effectively respond to possible outbreaks.
The Bureau, he said intensifies its ongoing information and education campaign in 20 critical areas prone to AI infections, international borders and coastlines in areas with high concentrations of ducks.
He also said that it is critically important that migratory birds are prevented from mingling with locally-raised fowl. (PIA XI) [top]