In the face of the first-ever outbreak of avian, or bird flu in the country in the town of San Luis, Pampanga, a government task force enforcing strict quarantine procedures intercepted on Monday afternoon an attempt to slip out two chickens, eggs, and a duck past a quarantine cordon.
Meanwhile, markets in Metro Manila have reported slumping prices of dressed chicken and chicken meat, as well as eggs. But this is not half as bad as in San Luis, where nobody had wanted to touch chickens since Saturday, when the outbreak started, and the dealers have simply been forced to return unsold stocks to their suppliers.
“Zero balance kami. Walang benta. Walang bumibili (No sale here. Nobody’s buying),” said Brenda Maglaqui, a chicken meat dealer in San Luis market.
At poultry farms, workers have had to stop working since the mass cull order went into effect, effectively putting a brake on feeding and caring activities since as many as 200,000 heads have been condemned to be preemptively destroyed in at least two barangays in San Luis.
Aside from the 1-kilometer kill zone, the government is enforcing a 7-km control zone via checkpoints, to make sure nothing gets out of San Luis.
A Department of Agriculture checkpoint flagged two live chickens, one live duck and 10 eggs that originated in San Luis.
Classes have been suspended in nearby schools, and agriculture personnel deployed in the response program are duly vaccinated and have received prophylaxis intervention to protected them from potential contamination.
The poultry entrepreneurs, meanwhile, are not exactly ecstatic at the level of compensation being offered by the government in return for giving up their stocks for culling.
Click and watch this video report: