A new bird flu jumps to humans. So far, it’s not a problem.

https://www.seattletimes.com/subscribe/signup-offers/?pw=redirect&subsource=paywall&return=https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/a-new-bird-flu-jumps-to-humans-so-far-its-not-a-problem/

April 21, 2021 at 1:00 pm Updated April 21, 2021 at 1:01 pm  By JAMES GORMANThe New York Times

When a bird flu virus struck a major poultry farm in Russia earlier this year, it was a reminder that the coronavirus causing the pandemic was not the only dangerous virus out there.

The authorities quickly tested the birds and moved into high gear, killing 800,000 chickens, disposing of the carcasses and cleaning the farm to stop the potential spread to other chicken farms. But they were also concerned for humans.

They tested the birds and sequenced the virus, determining that it was the H5N8 strain of avian flu, highly dangerous to both wild and domestic birds. It is established in Asia and has been increasingly causing deadly outbreaks in birds in Europe. H5N8 viruses have infected some poultry flocks in the United States, but the viruses come from a different though related lineage of virus, distinct from the current H5N8 viruses in Asia and Europe. Flu viruses combine and mutate frequently in unpredictable ways.

In the short period from Dec. 25 to Jan. 14, more than 7 million birds were lost to H5N8 outbreaks in Europe and Asia. Europe alone had 135 outbreaks among poultry and 35 among wild birds. Of course, to put the numbers in context, humans consume about 65 billion chickens each year, and one estimate puts the number of chickens on the globe at any one time at 23 billion.

As damaging as H5N8 has been to birds, it had never infected people. Until February. Russian health authorities also tested about 200 of the people involved in the cleanup of the farm in Astrakhan, using nasal swabs and later blood tests for antibodies. They reported that for the first time, H5N8 had jumped to people. Seven of the workers appeared to have been infected with the virus, although none of them became ill. Only one of those seven cases, however, was confirmed by genetically sequencing the virus.

Nonetheless, the potential danger of the new virus and its jump to humans set off alarm bells for Dr. Daniel R. Lucey, a physician and a specialist in pandemics at Georgetown University.ADVERTISINGSkip AdSkip AdSkip Ad

He began writing about the Astrakhan event in a blog for other infectious disease experts as soon as it was publicized. He reported that during a television interview, a Russian public health official said the H5N8 virus was likely to evolve into human-to-human transmission. That possibility was frightening.

“The WHO finally put out a report Feb. 26,” he said.

But it did not frame the event as particularly alarming because the virus was not causing human disease, and the report judged the risk of human-to-human transmission as low, despite the Russian official’s comment.

To Lucey, no one else seemed to be taking the infection of humans with H5N8 as “of any concern.” He added, “I think it’s of concern.”

Other scientists said they were not as worried.

Dr. Florian Krammer, a flu researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said he was more concerned about other avian flu viruses like H5N1 that have already shown themselves to be dangerous to people. Another avian influenza virus, H7N9, infected people for the first time in 2013. There have been more than 1,500 confirmed cases and more than 600 deaths since then. Since 2017 there have been only three confirmed cases, and the virus does not jump easily from person to person.

It is always possible that any virus can evolve human-to-human transmission, as well as become more dangerous. But H5N8 would have both hurdles to jump. Compared to other viral threats, Krammer said, “I’m not worried.”

Dr. Richard J. Webby, a flu specialist at the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and director of the WHO’s Collaborating Centre for Studies on the Ecology of Influenza in Animals and Birds, said that all of the H5 viruses are of concern because some of them have infected and killed people. But, he said, “They all have the same sort of binding capacity to human cells, which is limited,” he said. Flu viruses use a slightly different way to attach to cells in birds than to cells in humans and being good at one usually means not being good at the other.ADVERTISINGSkip Ad

Webby also said that while seven infections would certainly be of concern, only one infection has been confirmed. The tests of the other six involved nasal swabs and blood antibody tests. In people with no symptoms, he said, nasal swabs can simply indicate that they had breathed in virus. That would not mean it had infected them.

Blood antibody tests also have a potential for error, he said, and may not be able to distinguish exposure to one flu virus from another.

Nor did he see any scientific basis for suggesting that H5N8 is more likely than any other bird flu to evolve human-to-human transmission. But any virus could evolve that ability.

Lucey said he was heartened to see that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had prepared a candidate vaccine for H5N8 before it had infected humans. Candidate vaccines are simply first steps in planning for potential problems, and have not been through any testing. They exist for many viruses.

“Humans should be routinely tested those for the virus, right at the time of the outbreak in birds,” Lucey said.

He favors the protocol followed in Astrakhan and argues that for any outbreak among birds, public health authorities should test people who are exposed to sick birds with nasopharyngeal swabs and an antibody test, followed by other antibody tests a few weeks later.

An upcoming editorial in the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease also takes up the Astrakhan incident and calls for increased monitoring of all H5 viruses.This story was originally published at nytimes.com. Read it here.

New bird flu spreading in China could jump to humans, scientists warn

Two new types of bird flu infections currently spreading in China could jump to humans threatening global health, scientists warn.

The avian influenza virus subtype H16N3, first identified in 1975 and currently detectable among wild birds in many countries, has so far not posed a threat to humans so far.

But a team of researchers from State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology in Harbin, China, have isolated two H16N3 subtype influenza viruses that can bind to both human and avian-type cell receptors, according to findings published in Transboundary and Emerging Diseases[1].

The team led by Li Yulei also found evidence that genetic material from other species has been introduced into the H16N3 avian influenza virus, which suggests that it may infect other species and could therefore pose a threat to animal and human health in the future.

The findings come after the scientists carried out extensive surveillance of the H16N3 subtype of bird flu in large gatherings of wild birds in China from 2017 to 2019.

“Segments from other species have been introduced into the H16N3 avian influenza virus, which may alter its pathogenicity and host tropism, potentially posing a threat to animal and human health in the future,” the researchers wrote. “Consequently, it is necessary to increase monitoring of the emergence and spread of avian influenza subtype H16N3 in wild birds.”

Animal influenza viruses are distinct from human seasonal flu viruses and do not easily spread from human to human.

But some zoonotic influenza viruses – animal influenza viruses that have jumped species and infect humans – cause disease in people ranging from a mild illness to death.

The most recent case of a zoonotic virus is the SAR-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that began in Wuhan, China, and has spread worldwide so far infecting 1.8 million people and claiming more than 113,000 lives[2].

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy and overwhelmed healthcare systems in a number of countries including the United States.

China has emerged as ground zero for zoonotic pandemic outbreaks due to the prevalence of so-called wet markets where live animals – including endangered wild species – are sold for food.

The A(H5N1) virus spread around the world following a bird flu outbreak in Hong Kong, China in 1997 and human infections with the influenza A(H7N9) virus were reported in China in 2013, according to the World Health Organization [3].
While Hong Kong has taken steps to tackle the avian influenza in the Special Administrative Region’s wet markets, multiple different subtypes of avian influenza (H1N1, H2N9, H3N2, H3N3, H3N6, and H4N6) continue to circulate in live-poultry markets in mainland China[4].

The mortality rate of bird flu is estimated to be 60% making it at least ten times more lethal than COVID-19.

Bird flu outbreak: Culling to begin on Saturday in Malappuram

Malappuram district Collector Jaffer Malik had on Thursday confirmed the outbreak of bird flu in Palathingal and imposed a ban on trade of chickens, pets and other birds in and around 10-km radius of the site.

By Author  |  Published: 13th Mar 2020  11:34 pmUpdated: 13th Mar 2020  11:42 pm
Health officers dispose of the eggs of chickens to prevent the spread of bird flu, in Kozhikode on Friday. District collector issued an instruction to close all chicken farms, chicken and egg stall, pet and bird shops to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza. (ANI PHOTOS)

Malappuram: Ten specially-trained squads will from Saturday begin culling and disinfecting operations around one-km radius of Palathingal from where the outbreak of bird flu was detected.

The Animal Husbandry Officer (AHO) of Malappuram Rani Oommen said training for the squad members was underway at the Parappangadi municipal office.

“Each team would have six or seven members. The culling of birds and pets in around one-km aerial radius of Palathingal, where the outbreak of bird flu has been detected, would begin on Saturday,” the AHO said.

As ordered by the district Collector, trade of eggs, chicken and pets around 10-km of the epicentre has been prohibited, the official said.

Malappuram district Collector Jaffer Malik had on Thursday confirmed the outbreak of bird flu in Palathingal and imposed a ban on trade of chickens, pets and other birds in and around 10-km radius of the site.

Last Saturday, the bird flu outbreak was detected in two poultry farms in Vengeri and West Kodiyathoor in Kozhikode district.

Culling and disinfecting the one-km radius of these two spots have almost been completed and a final combing as part of surveillance would continue to ensure fool-proof disinfection of the one-sq km area around the area, sources in the AH department said.

 

Bird flu spreads through live markets – Expert reaction

Media release from the Science Media Centre
Undoctored_green

A new study highlights the role of live poultry markets in the spread of avian influenza.

Since it was identified in 1996, one strain of avian influenza (H5N1) has spread to more than 60 countries with a human fatality rate of 50-60 per cent. A new study shows the virus tended to move between nearby provinces especially where there was intense live poultry trade. The same trend was found in two other strains of avian influenza: H7N9 and H5N6.

Professor David Hayman, Professor of Infectious Disease Ecology, Massey University School of Veterinary Science, comments:

“This is an important paper that uses genetic and animal production data to determine that the transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses, aka ‘bird flu’, in China, which can infect and kill people, are driven largely by national-level poultry trade networks. The results suggest this is true for all three major avian influenza virus lineages in poultry in the country.

“This work suggests that the control of these viruses, therefore, is dependent on poultry production rather than wild birds. This means that while evidence suggests wild birds maintain these viruses in nature, people can limit the disease potential through poultry management, which is easier than attempting to intervene with wild bird systems.”

No conflict of interest.
________________________________________
Professor Robert G. Webster, Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA, comments:

“This is an extremely timely paper by an international consortium of scientists from multiple centers in China, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium and the United States on the role of live poultry markets in the spread of multiple subtypes of H5 avian influenza viruses. While the H5N1, H7N9 and H5N6 avian influenza viruses have not yet learned to transmit human-to-human they do have pandemic potential.

“This paper provides strong evidence for the role of the poultry trade network in the spread of these three H5 genotypes and considers the role of wild bird migration for long distance spread. There is a still a paucity of sequence data on influenza viruses from wild birds outside of Hong Kong and Qinghai Lake on which to base analysis of long distance spread.
“The paper deals with prevention and control efforts to disrupt the spread of influenza viruses between source and sink locations. While understanding the spread of H5 influenza viruses is essential for control an even more important strategy is to prevent the emergence of these viruses in live poultry markets by permanently closing such markets.

“The emergence of H5 influenza viruses, of SARS, of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) have been traced to live animal markets. China is now a wealthy country that could phase out such markets particularly the exotic animal markets.”

No conflict of interest.
________________________________________
Dr Joanna McKenzie, One Health epidemiologist, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, comments:

“This paper is interesting not so much for the authors’ findings, which are consistent with existing knowledge on transmission of the different clades of avian influenza viruses, but for its underlying demonstration of the value of:

  1. Good quality data on live poultry trade networks and migratory bird movement, and
  2. Good quality data on the distribution of outbreaks and the genomic sequence of avian influenza viruses (or any pathogenic organism) associated with each outbreak.

“Understanding poultry trade networks helps to prepare for and respond more quickly to the introduction or emergence of pathogenic organisms (including viruses, antimicrobial resistant bacteria, etc) in poultry. It identifies major poultry trade networks (described in the paper as live poultry trade communities) plus hubs that link the different networks.

“Some hubs act as a major source of poultry for the different communities, i.e. areas that have a high density of poultry production and supply a high proportion of birds to other areas. Some hubs have a higher probability of receiving poultry from the different networks and thus may have a higher risk of virus arriving in the area.

“Having knowledge of these hubs, provides the opportunity to target surveillance to detect outbreaks of known diseases such as avian influenza plus to detect new and unusual diseases in these areas, referred to as risk-based surveillance.

“Good quality outbreak data, particularly good geographic coverage of outbreaks and consistent coverage over time, enables an understanding of the distribution of outbreaks. Genetic analysis of viruses associated with the outbreaks is essential to understand the distribution of specific genetic clades geographically and over time.

“The important message for me from this paper is the importance of having good surveillance systems in place to detect and investigate disease outbreaks, record details of the outbreak, conduct genetic analysis of the pathogens, and to report the findings nationally. This is important for detecting and monitoring zoonotic diseases in animals and/or people and understanding the public health risks of the outbreaks.

“It is important to be careful not to make inferences that avian influenza has any link with COVID-19! The only link is that they are both zoonotic diseases but they are extremely different diseases.”

No conflict of interest.

China reports bird flu outbreak near epicenter of coronavirus

China has detected an outbreak of the bird flu near the epicenter of the lethal coronavirus, in line with a report.

The bird flu outbreak was reported Saturday in Hunan, which borders the province of Hubei the place the coronavirus broke out final month, in line with the South China Morning Submit.

“The outbreak occurred in a farm within the Shuangqing district of Shaoyang metropolis,” officers mentioned. “The farm has 7,850 chickens, and 4,500 of the chickens have died from the contagion.”

The deadly sickness — referred to as H5N1 virus — causes “a extremely infectious, extreme respiratory illness in birds,” in line with the World Well being Group.

The flu could be transmitted to people, however there have been no reports of anybody with the sickness, the outlet mentioned.

The outbreak comes as Chinese language authorities work to comprise the brand new coronavirus pressure, which has killed greater than 300 individuals.

China’s food supply imperiled

China’s food supply is being imperiled as new reports warn that up to 50 percent of China’s 440 million pigs are now at risk from African Swine Fever infection.

The South China Morning Post reported that Chairman Chan Kin Yip of the Federation of Hong Kong Agricultural Associations claimed that Chinese mainland pig farmers told him African Swine Fever has spread to 30 percent of mainland pigs, while another Hong Kong pig farmer based in China told Yip the exposure rate is as high as 50 percent.

First detected in August 2018, the raging pandemic of highly communicable African Swine Fever has spread to every mainland province and Hong Kong.  The virus causes blackened lesions, diarrhea, abortion, respiratory illness, and then death in seven to ten days.

With production declines of 35 percent and prices spiking 40 percent, the disease is wreaking havoc on the China’s $128-billion-a-year pork industry.  Although Beijing has encouraged the provinces to provide financial support to large-scale pig farms, the loss of sales and cost to cull up to 220 million infected pigs is a huge burden on the people.

The African Swine Fever has jumped the Chinese border to over 52 cities in Vietnam, leading to the culling of more than 2 million pigs.  With the fear of the disease growing, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc instructed various ministries to urge more pig culling.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, partnering with the Department of Agriculture, confiscated 1 million pounds of Chinese pork smuggled into a port in New Jersey in March.  Meat was mislabeled and hidden “among other products such as ramen noodles and tide detergent pods” in 50 shipping containers, according to the Feed Navigator.

Tightening of customs controls at Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan borders is beginning to cause delivery delays in Asia’s highly integrated production supply chains.

Geopolitical Futures emphasizes that China’s food supply is also being endangered due to other developing risks.  The Fall Armyworm has spread to 220,000 acres (89,000 hectares) in Southern China, ruining primarily corn and some sugarcane crops.  With no natural predators in China, the USDA warned that “there is a high probability that the pest will spread across all of China’s grain production area within the next 12 months.”

The Chinese government recently confirmed another episode of A(H5N6) bird flu in China’s Xinjiang Province.  The outbreak killed only 1,015 of 2,545 birds in the area, but an additional 11,900 will be culled to prevent the disease’s spread.  A(H5N6) avian flu is considered especially dangerous because the World Health Organization has identified A(H5N6) as a trans-species virus that mutated in 2016 to begin infecting humans.

Geopolitical Futures cautions regarding China existential risks, “[E]ven if food supplies can be met (which is in question at this point), rising prices also pose a threat to food availability to a country with high levels of low-income and poverty-stricken families.”

China’s food supply is being imperiled as new reports warn that up to 50 percent of China’s 440 million pigs are now at risk from African Swine Fever infection.

The South China Morning Post reported that Chairman Chan Kin Yip of the Federation of Hong Kong Agricultural Associations claimed that Chinese mainland pig farmers told him African Swine Fever has spread to 30 percent of mainland pigs, while another Hong Kong pig farmer based in China told Yip the exposure rate is as high as 50 percent.

With $23.8 billion of agricultural imports from the U.S. in 2017, retaliatory tariffs directly aimed at President Trump’s rural voter base were expected to be China’s hammer to bludgeon the U.S. into abandoning its trade war.  Accounting for 17 percent of U.S. agricultural exports, Chinese customers were number one in soybeans, number two in pork and hay, number three in dairy and poultry, number four in beef, and number five in wheat.

First detected in August 2018, the raging pandemic of highly communicable African Swine Fever has spread to every mainland province and Hong Kong.  The virus causes blackened lesions, diarrhea, abortion, respiratory illness, and then death in seven to ten days.

With production declines of 35 percent and prices spiking 40 percent, the disease is wreaking havoc on the China’s $128-billion-a-year pork industry.  Although Beijing has encouraged the provinces to provide financial support to large-scale pig farms, the loss of sales and cost to cull up to 220 million infected pigs is a huge burden on the people.

The African Swine Fever has jumped the Chinese border to over 52 cities in Vietnam, leading to the culling of more than 2 million pigs.  With the fear of the disease growing, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc instructed various ministries to urge more pig culling.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, partnering with the Department of Agriculture, confiscated 1 million pounds of Chinese pork smuggled into a port in New Jersey in March.  Meat was mislabeled and hidden “among other products such as ramen noodles and tide detergent pods” in 50 shipping containers, according to the Feed Navigator.

Tightening of customs controls at Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan borders is beginning to cause delivery delays in Asia’s highly integrated production supply chains.

Geopolitical Futures emphasizes that China’s food supply is also being endangered due to other developing risks.  The Fall Armyworm has spread to 220,000 acres (89,000 hectares) in Southern China, ruining primarily corn and some sugarcane crops.  With no natural predators in China, the USDA warned that “there is a high probability that the pest will spread across all of China’s grain production area within the next 12 months.”

The Chinese government recently confirmed another episode of A(H5N6) bird flu in China’s Xinjiang Province.  The outbreak killed only 1,015 of 2,545 birds in the area, but an additional 11,900 will be culled to prevent the disease’s spread.  A(H5N6) avian flu is considered especially dangerous because the World Health Organization has identified A(H5N6) as a trans-species virus that mutated in 2016 to begin infecting humans.

Geopolitical Futures cautions regarding China existential risks, “[E]ven if food supplies can be met (which is in question at this point), rising prices also pose a threat to food availability to a country with high levels of low-income and poverty-stricken families.”

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/06/chinas_food_supply_imperiled_.html#ixzz5qBmXUFQr
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Egg Replacers Market to Concentrate More on the Vegan Populace

Global Egg Replacers Market is worth USD 950 million in 2016 and estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1%, to reach USD 1277 million by 2021

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3687600

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Hyderabad, India — (SBWIRE) — 03/08/2018 — The alternative substances that are utilized in the place of eggs in various edible items are known are egg replacers. These help the manufacture replace eggs without having a subsequent change in the taste or texture of the product. It also successfully reduces the cholesterol content in the food products, thereby increasing the nutritional value of the product after all.

View sample and decide: https://www.marketdataforecast.com/market-reports/egg-replacers-market-4390/request-sample

The global Egg Replacers market value is calculated to grow with a CAGR of 6.1% to touch the valuation of USD 1277 million by the end of 2021, from 2016’s value of USD 950 million. The increasing proportion of the vegan population in the world is a major driver behind the projected growth of the market revenue.

To know more read: https://www.marketdataforecast.com/market-reports/egg-replacers-market-4390/

The outbreak of various bird-borne diseases like the Bird Flu and Avian Flu has had a positive effect on the expansion of the egg replacers market. This, coupled with the increasing number of diet conscious people choosing non-vegetarian food products is estimated to result in a significant rise in demand for egg replacers market.

Some kinds of egg replacers in the market also act as nutritive supplements to the products by providing essential vitamins or proteins. According to the analysis of the market by Application, the Bakery & Confectionaries segment has provided the biggest share of the global egg replacers market. This is reasoned with the comparatively high cost of various baked goods and bakery products.

Get your customized report: https://www.marketdataforecast.com/market-reports/egg-replacers-market-4390/customize-report

As per the geographical study of the global market, the North America region is calculated to have possessed almost 50% of the global market share. On the other hand, the highest growth rate is ascribed to the Asia-Pacific market in the near future, due to the presence of different untapped markets in the region.

The key players of the global Egg Replacers market encompass Ener-G Foods, Inc., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Florida Food Products, MGP Ingredients, Arla Foods, Ingredion Incorporated and Orchar Valley Foods Limited.

Browse related reports by Market Data Forecast:
https://www.marketdataforecast.com/market-reports/global-baking-enzymes-market-1113/

About Market Data Forecast
Being a familiar face to the Fortune 500 companies in the field of market research, Market Data Forecast provides its clientele with research material through syndicated reports, consult projects and industry newsletters across various domains and verticals. Our in-house research panel comprises of industry experts, vertical/domain specialists, supported by a well-built research & data models that help in providing insights for making well-informed decisions. We have a well-established data gathering network across 100+ countries through tie-ups and collaboration’s with the key personnel in value chains & local research organizations. Apart the excellent research services, we also boast of unique post-purchase services offering a 24*7 analyst support for the period of six months. Further, though a continuous feedback from our users, clients and experts, we keep on innovating ourselves in this field to support the organizations in the most efficient ways.

Contact Info:
Name: Mr. Abhishek Shukla
Email: abhishek@marketdataforecast.com
Organization: MarketDataForecast™
Address: 2nd Floor, Lakeview Plaza, Kavuri Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana 500033, India.
Phone: +1-888-702-9626
Email: abhishek@marketdataforecast.com
Web: https://www.marketdataforecast.com/

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/egg-replacers-market-to-concentrate-more-on-the-vegan-populace-933073.htm

Cockfights off as bird flu hits Pampanga

 / 05:19 AM August 23, 2017

GUAGUA, Pampanga — Rolando Regala went to a cockpit arena in Barangay San Roque here on Tuesday and learned there was going to be no “soltada” (derby) for the day. Holding a neighbor’s stag (7 to 8 month old game fowl) which was put in his care, Regala checked out the empty “gradas” (cockpit).

“‘Kristo’ (bet takers) like me won’t get to earn today, like last Saturday,” said the 40-year-old father of three. He earns around P1,000 during derbies on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from commissions handed out by winning players.

Regala’s source of income was affected when owners or operators of 16 cockpit arenas in Pampanga province complied with a local ordinance that banned all cockfights, bird exhibits and other sporting activities for two weeks as a precaution against the avian flu outbreak in San Luis

The ordinance cited the need to “prevent or lessen the possible adverse effect on the local economy, ensure public health, safety and general welfare of the people of Pampanga.”

“I understand why the cockfights have to be suspended. It’s good to be on the side of prevention,” Regala said.

To stave off hunger, Regala sent his wife and children to his in-laws. For the meantime, he planned to work as a parking attendant.

Around 200 bet takers in western Pampanga are in the same predicament.

Albert Celso, 44, borrowed money from relatives. “I hope the ban [on cockfights] won’t be extended to a month. We will die of hunger,” he said.

Victor Gopez has not earned the P400 he gets from each winning player as a “manari,” or one who installs blades on fighting cocks.

“I heard the bird flu outbreak in San Luis has been handled properly. It did not spread to game fowls so I think cockfights should resume,” Gopez said.

Gambling or hobby money not circulating in the local economy can amount to millions of pesos. The Bacolor cockpit arena alone draws as many as 1,000 players. If each player has P10,000 to bet, a cockpit loses P10 million for a day of derbies.

Also on the losing end are feed millers, food vendors, canteen operators, utility workers, “llamador” (bet listers), “kasador” (handlers of large bets) and matchmakers. Also affected were workers in “bularit” or illegal cockpits in villages.

For example, Amelita Ganzon, 67, was unable to earn P200 from selling cigarettes and coffee at the cockpit arena in San Roque.

Bacolor Mayor Jomar Hizon, also president of the Kapampangan Game Fowl Breeders (KGBA), said a general assembly on Aug. 20 showed that no stocks from his group’s 300 members had been infected by the avian flu. KGBA employs more than 900 people.

“But we realize this can ruin the entire cockfighting industry. We have to put in place standards in biosecurity,” said Hizon, who has been breeding fighting cocks since he was 17.

If each farm breeds 1,000 cocks sold at a minimum of P6,000 each, the 300 KGBA members could face losses of up to P180 million on birds alone, or even P500 million when expenses in breeding stocks, fees and operational costs are added, Hizon said.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/924801/cockfights-off-as-bird-flu-hits-pampanga#ixzz4qclccp00
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

Philippines warns against killing of migratory birds amid avian flu outbreak

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-birdflu-philippines-idUSKCN1AT077

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines on Sunday warned citizens not to kill or poach migratory birds that usually fly in from China, the possible source of a virus that triggered the Southeast Asian nation’s first outbreak of avian flu, to avoid worsening the situation.

There has been no case of human transmission but the virus prompted a cull of 200,000 fowl last week after it was detected on a farm in the province of Pampanga, north of the capital Manila, and spread to five neighboring farms.

Migratory birds or smuggled ducks from China may have brought in the virus, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has said.

The bird migration season in the Philippines usually starts around September, with the birds returning to their breeding grounds the following March, Mundita Lim, director of the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), said in an advisory.

“The culling, poisoning or chasing of migratory birds is strongly discouraged as they have proven ineffective and counterproductive,” she added.

Sick or dead wild birds should immediately be reported to the Department of Agriculture to allow checks for the virus, Lim said, urging breeders in areas frequented by migratory birds to guard their flocks against contact with them.

Early tests of the virus in the avian flu outbreak ruled out the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain, but Philippine officials have sought further testing by an Australian animal health laboratory that is part of a global network combating the disease.

The Philippines is monitoring the quality and prices of poultry products in its markets, but believes farm authorities have managed to isolate and contain the virus, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Roy Cimatu, the secretary of environment and natural resources, said his department would step up surveillance against efforts to smuggle wild birds by sea and air.

Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Chicken vendors turn to selling pork amid bird flu outbreak in Pampanga

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/regions/621736/chicken-vendors-turn-to-selling-pork-amid-bird-flu-outbreak-in-pampanga/story/

Published August 14, 2017 8:31am

 

Poultry vendors at a public market in San Luis, Pampanga have temporarily stopped selling chicken amid the bird flu outbreak.

According to a report by Victoria Tulad on Unang Balita on Monday, vendors said they canceled deliveries of chicken in anticipation of low market demand.

Instead, vendors have increased their orders for pork and fish.

Pork prices have been stable at the market—P190 per kilo for laman (innards), P200 per kilo for liempo, P160 to P165 per kilo of buto-buto (soup bones), P165 per kilo for ribs, P190 per kilo for pork chop, and P140 per kilo of pata.

One of the vendors, Brenda Maglaqui, said she tried selling chicken on Saturday but no one bought any. Most market-goers chose to buy fish and other seafood instead.

Fish vendors Victoria spoke to said some fish varities sold higher due to the high demand.

A kilo of dalagang bukid, for instance, which used to sell for P120 per kilo, now sells for P160. Hasa-hasa, which was at P160 per kilo before, is now being selling for P180. Squid sells for P200 per kilo, while yellowfin tuna is now pegged at P180 per kilo from the previous P160.

Pork sellers worry that the prices of choice cuts may have to be increased in the coming days due to the lack of supply.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Friday disclosed a bird flu outbreak at a poultry farm in Barangay San Agustin, San Luis, Pampanga.

The mass slaughter or culling of thousands of chickens believed infected with avian flu in at least eleven poultry farms in San Luis, Pampanga followed starting Sunday, an official of the Bureau of Animal Industry said. —KG/KVD, GMA News