Bird flu 'ground zero' in Pampanga finishes culling 200,000 fowls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2017 09:39 AM

FILE PHOTO: Ducks are seen at a poultry farm in San Luis, Pampanga. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The town of San Luis in Pampanga province has completed the slaughter of some 208,000 fowls in a bid to contain the country's first bird flu outbreak, Mayor Venancio Macapagal said Tuesday. 

Macapagal told DZMM a total of 170,000 chickens, 21,000 ducks and 16,000 quail from a 1-kilometer diameter quarantine zone, considered the outbreak's ground zero, were culled. 

The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier said it was set to cull a total of 600,000 fowls in the whole of Pampanga after more poultry farms suffered heavy losses and gave up their produce for slaughter. 

Quarantine officers will disinfect the affected farms and a new set of fowl called "sentinel birds" will be brought in after 21 days. If the "sentinel birds" don't fall sick after 90 days, the quarantine restrictions will be lifted, the DA said. 

Authorities have not determined the cause of the bird flu outbreak, nor the exact strain, on which tests are being done in Australia.