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Sultan Kudarat now bird flu-free

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has declared Sultan Kudarat free from avian influenza.

DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. issued Memorandum Circular 11 proclaiming the province free from the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1. He said the spread of the virus has been contained.

“More than 90 days have lapsed since cleaning and disinfection activities ended. Monitoring yielded negative avian influenza test results,” Laurel said in the memo.

He said 22 cases of HPAI subtype H5N1 were detected in Tacurong City and in the municipalities of Isulan, Lebak, Lutayan and President Quirino in March, June, July and November 2022 as well as in February 2023.

The disease affected ducks, native chickens, chicken layers, turkeys, guinea fowls and geese.

Upon detection of the disease, the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat as well as concerned local government units investigated the cases and conducted depopulation, cleanup and disinfection, Laurel said.

Poultry movement, restriction and surveillance were conducted in affected premises, in accordance with the guidelines of the avian influenza protection program.