MANILA - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Sunday cautioned the public against contact with migratory birds to prevent the spread of bird flu from a Pampanga town.
The public was also asked to report sick or dead wild birds to authorities while poultry growers were asked to isolate their fowl from migratory birds, said Mundita Lim, director of the agency's Biodiversity Management Bureau.
"We discourage the killing or poaching of the birds because this could just worsen the situation. Close contact with the birds will risk transmission," she said of the migratory birds.
The Department of Agriculture earlier declared a bird flu outbreak in San Luis town after recording 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.
Bird migration season stars around September, moving south, and ends by March, going to the north, Lim said.
The birds stop briefly along swamps, marshes, coastal areas, rivers, ponds, lakes, and forests in the country to rest and refuel, she said.
The Bureau of Animal Industry will send samples to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory to determine the actual strain of the virus.
"We may need to determine the actual strain and do some epidemiological assessments so we can make the proper disease management recommendations," said Lim.