DENR 4A warned on bird flu outbreak, calls on public to protect migratory birds

DENR 4A warned on bird flu outbreak, calls on public to protect migratory birds

Chinese Egret found roaming around the Laguna Lake

          The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, Atty. Jonas R. Leones, alerted the DENR CALABARZON Region, along with all other regional offices, regarding the Avian Influenza outbreak in the province of Pampanga which was reported by the Department of Agriculture (DA) thru a television program aired last August 11.

          The DA-Bureau of Animal Industry issued on the same date a temporary ban on the movement of live domestic and wild birds, including its products such as poultry meat, eggs, semen and manure, from Luzon to Visayas and Mindanao to prevent further spread of the disease.

          Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defined Avian Influenza, also known as “bird flu”, as an infectious bird disease caused by Type A Influenza viruses which commonly infect poultry such as domestic chickens and ducks, and many types of wild birds.

          According to the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), wild migratory water birds worldwide naturally carry these viruses but in a low pathogenic and harmless form. However, these viruses can turn into a harmful, high pathogenic form when such bird species come in contact with a crowded and unhygienic poultry farm. The harmful virus can quickly spread among the poultry and wild birds, and may soon cause its death.

         “While the poultry part of the issue is under the mandate of DA, our concern here is the wild migratory birds,” said DENR CALABARZON Conservation and Development Division chief Oliver B. Viado in a radio interview as part of the information campaign of the office about the bird flu epidemic.

          Migratory birds are bird species which constantly migrate to various countries and continents in order to survive. In the Philippines, the bird migration season is from late September of the current year to March of the following year. These birds rest along wetlands such as swamps, marshes, intertidal and coastal areas, rivers, ponds and lakes, and forests.

          CALABARZON has 45 migratory bird sites: three (3) in Cavite; nine (9) in Batangas; 10 in Laguna; and 23 in Quezon. Viado said Chinese Egret is one of the most common migratory bird species annually roaming around the region.

          "There is a directive from the DENR Central Office, particularly, from the Office of Undersecretary Leones to closely monitor the said migratory bird sites so as to check whether there are any incidences of wild bird die out," Viado said. He emphasized that the Department always implements the "no touch" protocol whenever they observe dead wild birds, and reports such observation to the DA.

          "We were also directed to suspend the issuance of all transport permits for any wild bird species to and from Pampanga and nearby provinces," Viado relayed.

          He mentioned also that they have already alerted all wildlife traffic monitoring unit checkpoints in CALABARZON to strictly enforce measures for this matter, and to stop and immediately report occurrence of wild bird transport passing through or into the region.

          The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), on the other hand, released an advisory calling on the public to help protect the migratory birds as these birds are not the culprit of the flu but rather a victim also like some domestic birds.

          The DENR-BMB strongly advised the public to stop culling, poisoning or chasing away migratory birds as these practices are proven ineffective and counterproductive; avoid handling any sick or dead wild birds; and keep poultry and domestic animals separate from wild birds and other wildlife.

          "As of now, bird flu incidence is not yet observed in the CALABARZON region since the outbreak in Pampanga, but we urge the public to immediately report to the DA any observation of dead wild birds and poultry in order for the said agency to determine whether the death of these birds are caused by the flu or not, and consequently apply proper measures to prevent disease outbreak," Viado said.


Highlights of RED Gilbert C. Gonzales' Message during the DENR CALABARZON New Year's Call on January 6, 2020

Jan 23


             DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Gilbert C. Gonzales begins his message by acknowledging the 2019 accomplishments of CALABARZON officials as he called the names of the Regional Directors for Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Environment and Management Bureau (EMB), Assistant Regional Directors (ARDs) as well as the Division heads, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs), and Community Environment and Natural Resources Officers (CENROs) together with their Technical Services Division (TSD) and Management Services Division (MSD) Heads. He mentioned that most of the key officials had served the DENR for a longer period, thus, became experts and legends in accomplishing the targets of Region IV-A. Noting that all officials of CALABARZON are indeed responsible and dependable.


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