The Philippines authorities have confirmed on Wednesday that nearly 39,000 chickens in a poultry farm north of the capital Manila were slaughtered to avoid a bird flu outbreak.
The bird flu infection was detected four months ago in a Nueva Ecija province. Since then, the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Animal Industry has detected the presence of the highly infectious H5N6 subtype of the influenza A virus in an egg-producing farm in San Luis town.
Initial investigations showed the presence of migratory birds in Pampanga province, which has been associated with bird flu outbreaks in other Asian countries.
To understand the scale of problem, the team of veterinarians and animal health officers had immediately implemented emergency control measures. They culling 38,701 poultry and disposing of the carcasses, the DA reported on July 29.
The bird flu outbreak started in March
In March, the DA detected an avian flu outbreak involving the same virus in a quail farm in Jaen municipality in Nueva Ecija province, where about 1,500 quails had died and some 12,000 others had been culled.
An investigation conducted by the DA showed the presence in San Luis town of migratory birds, which has been associated with bird flu outbreaks in the Asia Pacific region, including the Philippines.
The Philippines Department of Agriculture confirmed in the statement that broilers, the primary source of poultry meat, were not affected by the latest outbreak.