Bohol authorities are still implementing strict precautionary protocols to prevent the possible entry of bird flu virus in the province even after the Department of Agriculture (DA) had lifted the shipment ban of poultry products from Luzon to any parts of the country, according to the provincial veterinarian.
Dr. Bing Lapiz, the provincial veterinarian, told The Bohol Tribune that the implication of DA’s memo circular is that the province will continue to deploy its precautionary measures at various ports of entry.
In a text message, Lapiz said: “Actually partial lifting ra ang implication sa memo. circular nga bag -o re lifting of ban tungod Kay daghan man ang requirements needed aside from the regular shipping permit and vet health certificate kinahanglan nga maggikan sa Bureau of animal industry accredited xang farm nga gigiksnan sa maong manok and is outside the 7 km radius sa affected farms. need pud nga makuhaan og AI test and that result are negative prior to shipment. Mao ni for live birds and chicken. for meat , including fresh and frozen need meat inspection.”
She said that for processed meat and poultry products, these still need shipping permit,license to operate of the processing plant, and FDAcertificate of product registration.
“For embryonated duck eggs for ballot. dapat fully cooked na unja thru plane ra ang transport Kay good for 3 days ra man ang coked balut. another requirement for fresh eggs . naa pud conditions for confiscation and destruction,” Lapiz said in the text message.
Earlier, Gov. Edgar M. Chatto issued an executive order forming the Provincial Task Force Bird Flu, which will monitor the buying and selling of poultry products including the shipment of these products from other places to the province of Bohol.
Chatto said that although Bohol is not dependent on poultry products from Luzon, where the first bird flu outbreak was first reported prompting the DA to totally prohibit the shipment of poultry products from Luzon to other parts of the country, the province’s homegrown poultry industry must be protected from possible contamination.
Lapiz said most poultry products consumed by the Boholanos are sourced from within Bohol, led by the Marcela Farms, the biggest producer of poultry products in the province, and is even supplying poultry products to many parts of the country, including Luzon.
At the executive meeting of Task Force Bird Flu at Rayna’s Haven, Lapiz reiterated her earlier pronouncement that Bohol remains bird-flu-virus free, saying all poultry products sold in Bohol supermarkets are safe to eat.
On the other hand, Marcela Farms in a statement had assured its consumers that all its products are certified safe and have undergone strict a process to ensure the highest standard of poultry products that are safe and bird-flu free.
Meanwhile, agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol announced on August 24 the culling of all fowls in the avian flu-affected areas of San Luis in Pampanga and Jaen has been completed, while San Isidro in Nueva Ecija was completed on August 25.
Piñol said the operation ensures the full containment of the spread of the dreaded avian influenza to the rest of the country, saying he felt relieved that strict quarantine measures were put in place as soon as the Department confirmed it.
“Now that we know that the virus was confined to that area, I feel relieved,” Secretary Piñol said.