By Franco Regala
SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga – Amid the low demand for chicken due to the continuing bird flu scare, local governments in the province appealed to the public to support local chicken products and distributed another 7, 000 safe-to-eat chickens to Kapampangans.
“I am asking the public, my fellow Kapampangan in particular, to patronize our chicken products especially those outside the seven-kilometer control zone of San Luis town, the source of the avian influenza outbreak,” Guagua Mayor Dante Torres said during a boodle fight organized by the municipal government in the town’s public market.
“Here in Guagua, I can say that the chickens are safe and are not affected by the bird flu virus,” he added.
Torres said he is dismayed by the declining sale of chicken products in the public market, noting this badly affected market vendors.
He said a kilo of chicken in most public markets in the province now costs P90-P100 per kilo from its original price of P140 per kilo.
Torres asked the public to avoid stereotyping chicken products from the province as unsafe noting that measures had been implemented to contain the bird flu virus.
He further assured that his office, in coordination with Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), is closely monitoring chicken products that are imported, inspecting everyday delivery and ensuring that all of the products are safe to eat.
Meanwhile in Candaba, Mayor Danilo Baylon distributed another 7, 000 safe-to-eat chickens to his constituents in the Riverside area to also prove that poultry goods including chickens are safe for human consumption.
He assured the beneficiaries that the broiler chickens are raised for meat in his poultry farms with properly maintained biosecurity measures.
He added that he traveled the broilers in Candaba with a shipping permit and veterinary health certificate issued by the provincial veterinary office.
“Kailangan natin mapakita sa lahat na safe ang ating mga manok (We have to show to all that our chickens) and other poultry products from Candaba dahil (because) our town supplies the majority of poultry and eggs in the country,” he said.
Earlier, the town mayor also distributed some 4, 000 chickens, benefiting thousands of Kapampangan even from other municipalities.
The DA, in collaboration with the provincial government had instituted measures to contain the bird flu virus, which an Australian laboratory confirmed to have the highly contagious H5N6 strain.
Prior to the confirmation of the deadly avian flu strain, the Philippine government had lifted its ban on shipment of poultry and its byproducts and assured the public of the virus containment and the safety of products outside the 7-km control zone.
Tags: bird flu, bird flu virus, chicken products, control zone, Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Industry, Kapampangan, Manila Bulletin, Pampanga LGUs appeal to public to support poultry industry, poultry products, public market
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