EVEN as cases of H5N1 bird flu have been confirmed in Benguet, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) has said that the incidence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the region has dropped by 80 percent compared to the previous year’s numbers.
The DA-CAR said that compared to the same time period in the previous year during the first quarter, only a fifth of the cases, amounting to two confirmed cases of ASF, have been logged in two municipalities in the region.
DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey said that the lowered incidence of ASF will not be the cause to lessen vigilance, and the DA-CAR will continue to conduct information campaigns and other measures to safeguard against the continued spread of the disease.
Previously, the DA national office ordered tighter restrictions on poultry farms following confirmed outbreaks of the avian influenza H5N1 disease in four areas, as well as confirmed cases in another five provinces, including Benguet.
Under a new memorandum circular, the movement of poultry birds and commodities through and from affected areas, especially those from the one-kilometer quarantine zones, is restricted.
DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Dr. Reildrin Morales has meanwhile said that farm owners are mandated to comply completely with the transport requirements, tests, and biosecurity protocols from the World Organization for Animal Health.
Morales also said the DA-BAI has been conducting surveillance in all affected areas along with the Department of Health (DOH), which is monitoring possible H5N1 transmission to humans.