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DA declares Sultan Kuradat as bird flu-free province

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has declared Sultan Kuradat as avian influenza-free province, allowing movement of birds including chickens, duck and other poultry products within and outside the province.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel Jr. declared Sultan Kudarat province AI-free following the negative AI test results from surveillance activities and more than 90 days after the end of the cleaning and disinfection operations.

Cases of the highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 were first reported in the City of Tacurong and the towns of Isulan, Lebak, Lutayan and President Quirino in March 2022. Several more reports of AI cases affecting ducks, native and layer chickens, turkeys, guinea fowls and geese from June 2022 through February 2023.

Before the cases reported in early 2022, Sultan Kuradat has been free of the disease that infects birds, both domestic and wild. The World Organization for Animal Health allows a place previously free of AI to regain that status 28 days after the stamping out policy is completed, disinfection of the last affected establishment was carried out, and that consequent surveillance demonstrated the absence of infection.

It has been more than 90 days since the local government unit, DA regional field office, and the Bureau of Animal Industry have completed the WOAH procedures and the testing for AI that didn’t show any new infections.

“In accordance with the authority vested in me, (I) do hereby declare Sultan Kudarat as an Avian Influenza-Free Province,” Sec. Tiu Laurel said. ###