PHL layer industry cites AI surge risk, pushes vax

The Philippine Egg Board Association (PEBA) is urging the government to allow and expedite the entry of ‘inactivated’ bird flu vaccines into the country to limit the impact of the disease on the domestic layer industry.

The group claimed that the cross-border animal disease, technically known as avian influenza (AI), has caused the death of 9 million laying hens, or about 20% of the country’s total laying hen population, during the past only first semester.

In a letter to Bureau of Animal Industry Director Reildrin G. Morales, Peba said the egg-laying industry suffered its “heaviest losses” in history to AI this year.

Peba explained that the upward trend in local AI cases was driven by the country’s “inevitable” attraction as a “wintering ground” for AI-carrying migratory birds due to local natural wetlands. and irrigated agricultural land.

The group added that part of the reason for the spread of bird flu was the “relentless” sale of bird flu-positive flocks to the slaughter market and the “endemic” practice of free-range rearing. air of “certain” domesticated avian species.

“Given these circumstances, on behalf of the [Peba] and our local layer partner organizations [BAEPA and SPEPA]we would like to implore your office to authorize and expedite the entry of relevant inactivated or killed AI vaccines,” Peba President Irwin M. Ambal said in his letter.

“While we know this may not totally eliminate AI disease or fully protect our herds from the virus in question, our industry needs all the protection it can get. , it would be better than the seemingly passive stance we took earlier this year,” Ambal added.

Peba has also proposed that the government explore local manufacturing of autogenous bird flu vaccines in the country. Peba said their recommendations were in consultation with local and overseas poultry disease experts, such as the Philippine College of Poultry Practitioners.

“We would like to request assistance from your office, either through funding or expediting the establishment of facilities for the development and/or manufacture of autogenous vaccines in the country,” reads the statement. letter.

“This can be done either by the government itself or through private partnerships,” he added.

Peba stressed that the egg-laying industry requires “proactive and aggressive” interventions before migratory birds start arriving in the Philippines as winter approaches in other countries.

“Without aggressive proactive interventions such as vaccinations, early detection and decisive isolation and fair compensation of affected farms, we fear that the poultry industry will again suffer heavily from AI next year,” said- he declared.

The world has struggled to contain bird flu outbreaks this year, with Europe and the United States suffering near-record bird and flock deaths.

The UK and Europe have lost more than 47 million birds to bird flu across more than 2,500 outbreaks of the disease, according to the Guardian report earlier this month.

A recent Reuters report said the number of chickens and turkeys that died from infections and slaughter in the United States also reached more than 47 million birds.

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