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Piñol: 40,000 chickens culled in latest bird flu outbreak

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The avian influenza virus has hit a poultry farm in Nueva Ecija, but the disease is under control and the virus has not affected humans in the town of Cabiao, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said Friday.

Piñol confirmed this in Cabanatuan City where he attended a party, and clarified that the Department of Agriculture had the bird flu incident under control.

He also admitted that the culling of 40,000 chickens from the Cabiao farm on Nov. 21 was purposely kept from the media, as the animals were immediately buried, to avoid raising alarm akin to a similar outbreak last August in San Isidro, a neighboring town also in Nueva Ecija.

That town was quarantine after 30,000 chickens there were put down, said Piñol, but the damage arising from that report had already shaken the poultry industry in Central Luzon.

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To keep the virus from spreading, Piñol said the DA is working with Cabiao's government in watching poultry products going in and out of the town. Tests are also being done on the town's farms to determine if the virus has spread to the local livestock.

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