Chicken or egg? Bird flu outbreak hits layer farms

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2017 03:02 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2017 04:32 AM

Most of the chickens affected by the bird flu outbreak in San Luis town, Pampanga are layers, or chickens that produced eggs, a poultry farmer said Monday.

Lawyer Elias Jose Inciong of the United Broiler Raisers Association (UBRA) told radio DZMM that there are no broiler farms in "ground zero."

Broilers are chicken raised for their meat.

"Layer farm ng manok at mga itik po. Layer po ang tawag dito, 'yan po umaabot po sila sa 18 months, sila po ang nagpo-produce ng egg. 'Yung broilers ho, 'yan ho 30 days plus lang ho, hina-harvest na," he explained.

He added that although the affected farms mostly produce egg, those who raise broilers also suffered.

"Ang tinamaan ho ng sakit ay mga layer eh, ang nabukulan ho ng pangyayari, kaming nasa broiler, 'yung nasa meat," Inciong said.

According to Inciong, althought it is understandable that consumers will be wary of the chicken meat and eggs that they buy, there is no reason to panic as long as the meat and the eggs are properly cooked.

Dr. Eric Tayag of the Department of Health - Bureau of Local Health Systems Development also shared the same sentiment.

"Kapag hard-boiled ang itlog, puwedeng kainin," Tayag said. "Ligtas naman pong kumain ng itlog at manok, basta tama po ang pagluto natin."

The Department of Agriculture earlier declared a bird flu outbreak in San Luis town after around 37,000 fowls died due to suspected Type A Subtype H5 avian influenza. Some 200,000 birds were also set for slaughter.

It was the first such outbreak in the country.