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.

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TO COMMITING TO ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION AND CLIMATE RESILIENCY!

RD TANCHULING

 

          "To this end, we urge you to make a commitment towards building a climate-resilient community among yourselves," said the In-Charge, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON-Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Section, Melinda G. Gordo as she closed the lecture-forum held on November 18, 2017 at the Barangay Lalakay Covered Court, Los Banos, Laguna.

          The recently concluded activity was undertaken in celebration of the month of November as National Environmental Awareness Month, and in anticipation of the Climate Change Consciousness Week slated on November 19-24 which, together, carry the theme "Kilos Para sa Kalikasan: Building Climate-Resilient Philippines".

          "It is but vital that we know the potential impacts of climate change in order for us to adapt to it," said DENR CALABARZON Regional Director Arsenio N. Tanchuling as he delivered his inspirational message during the lecture-forum, which serves as the office's share to the "Sama-sama sa K5: Kilos sa Klima at Kalamidad Tungo sa Kaligtasan at Kaunlaran" activity simultaneously conducted by various DENR offices nationwide.

 

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