MANILA - Around 44,000 fowls were culled in Bulacan and Pampanga in efforts to control the spread of the bird flu virus, Bureau of Animal Industry director Dr. Reildrin Morales said Wednesday.
The Department of Agriculture detected the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N1 strain in 6 farms in Barangay Barangka in Baliuag, Bulacan, Barangays Mangga and Dalayap in Candaba, Pampanga, and Barangay San Antonio in Mexico, Pampanga.
Morales said the virus was first detected in a routine surveillance in a duck farm in Bulacan as part of the accreditation for duck raisers last January 6.
Two weeks later, the DA received reports of high mortality among ducks and quails in three farms in Candaba, followed by reports from two more farms in Mexico.
An owner of one of the quail farms in Candaba said over 10,000 quails died in a matter of four days.
BAI, an office under DA, said the virus came from migratory birds usually seen over Candaba Swamp.
Morales also said the cases could be inter-connected as the towns are all adjacent to the swamp, but is confident that the virus is now contained and would not affect poultry supply in the country.
The DA is preparing financial assistance intended to help the affected farms restart their business.