With the persisting cases of Avian Influenza (AI) among broiler and layer chickens in the country, one of the cheapest sources of protein continues to be at risk of being costly for the average Filipinos.

AI is a highly transmissible virus that infects and kills domestic and wild birds (World Organization for Animal Health, 2023). It can be spread through contact with infected birds’ secretions or exposed farm equipment due to the resistant nature of the virus.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) confirmed that nine regions remain affected by the AI virus, as of February 9, 2023.

According to its report to the National Banner Program Committee on Poultry and Livestock (NBPC on PL) on February 14, 2023, more than 300 thousand poultry mortalities have been recorded since the outbreak of AI in the country in 2022.

As a response to this, the NBPC on PL recommended to the Department of Agriculture to adopt the proposed guidelines, developed by the Philippine College of Poultry Practitioners, Inc., on the adaptation of AI vaccination for broiler, layer, ducks, quail, game fowl, game and racing birds, exotic birds, and wildlife birds.

The Committee also agreed that the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries shall organize meetings with the different government agencies and key industry stakeholders to discuss the action plan for the conduct of consultations on the AI Vaccination Program and other related issues. | JCL