January 29, 2023

Juan Kabayan

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Negros Occidental not affected by poultry ban

BACOLOD CITY: The supply of eggs and chickens in Negros Occidental is not affected by the total ban of poultry products from Panay.

The assurance was made by Dr. Placeda Lemana, officer in charge of the Provincial Veterinary Office, after Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson issued an executive order banning poultry products from Panay and Guimaras amid a bird-flu scare.

Lemana said on Friday that Negros Occidental ships out 2.4 million eggs a month. “There is a big chance for table eggs from the layers to be the carriers; that’s why the eggs are not allowed to enter the province,” Lemana said.

Data from the Provincial Veterinary Office showed that each month, layers in Negros Occidental supply 2.4 million eggs to other areas and distribute 198,000 eggs within the province.

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental receives 325,000 eggs from Iloilo, more than 666,000 from Capiz, and 3.1 million from Cebu. Including the stocks coming from the province, Negros Occidental has a supply of 4.3 million eggs every month.

“We send out more than what is coming in from Panay, which means our produce can compensate for the eggs coming from Panay,” Lemana pointed out.

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The Negros Occidental provincial government has imposed a total ban on the entry of live birds and poultry products such as meat and eggs from areas affected by the highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu, including Luzon, Mindanao, and the neighboring islands of Panay and Guimaras.

The ban took effect immediately after the province released a copy of Executive Order 22-42 Tuesday night.

“[This is] to safeguard the poultry industry as well as to protect the general public from the effects of the bird-flu disease,” Lacson said as he directed local chief executives to strengthen biosafety, hygiene and sanitation standards in poultry dressing plants, live bird markets and poultry farms.

To ensure that the ban is strictly imposed, the governor has tasked veterinary inspectors to intercept the entry and confiscate birds and their products from restricted regions during the inspection at seaports, airports and other points of entry.

Lacson added that Negros Occidental also reserves the right to impose a total ban on other areas in the Visayas with suspected bird-flu cases.

Lacson and Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez have issued a joint executive order establishing the guidelines for the ban on the entry of all live domestic and wild birds, and their products, including eggs and manure, from areas with reported cases of bird flu.