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Leyte mayors create task forces vs bird flu

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the reported cases of avian influenza or bird flu in Kananga town in Leyte, the mayors of two other towns in the province have created task forces to implement measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

Mayor Ramon Oñate of Palompon and Mayor Bernardino Tacoy of Matag-ob issued executive orders (EOs) creating their respective municipal task forces to carry out preemptive measures.

Tacoy ordered the creation of Task Force Lipad to address bird flu-related concerns within his town.

The task force is tasked to develop and enforce guidelines for livestock management and biosecurity measures and oversee vaccination of poultry. It will also conduct public awareness on the disease, monitor the avian population with ready response mechanisms and implement disease control measures in case bird flu hits Matag-ob.

Under Oñate’s EO, the task force will enforce a ban on the entry of live domestic and wild birds as well as monitor and inspect poultry meat sold in public markets in Palompon.

Oñate said four other town mayors would meet to discuss measures to stop the spread of bird flu in their areas.

The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Eastern Visayas office said confirmatory test from the Bureau of Animal Industry’s Animal Disease Diagnosis and Reference laboratory on a poultry farm in Kananga was positive for bird flu.

DA regional executive director Andrew Orais assured the public that the situation is “under control” after the affected breeder farm decided to cull 60,000 poultry heads.