More Pampanga farms bow under virus scare
MANILA - Authorities are set to cull 600,000 fowls in San Luis, Pampanga as more poultry farms give up their flocks for slaughter after suffering heavy losses due to a bird flu outbreak, the Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
The department was supposed to slaughter only 200,000 poultry heads from 6 farms inside a 1-square kilometer "quarantine zone" in San Luis.
Thirty more farm owners however volunteered to join the depopulation to prevent the spread of the virus and minimize their losses, DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a press briefing.
"Sabi nila, kung makakatulong in containing the spread of the virus, they are willing to make sacrifices," Piñol said.
"They also found it hard to go on with their business kasi maski hindi sila within the 1-kilometer radius, hindi rin sila makakabenta ng mga itlog at kanilang mga produkto."
Authorities have culled about 73,000 birds so far, Piñol added.
The DA, he said, needs at least P52.8 million for the depopulation process as it has promised to pay poultry raisers P80 for every culled fowl.
Piñol said he has sought the deployment of 100 soldiers to help in the depopulation and has asked the national police to boost quarantine stations.