Erap: Manila safe from bird flu

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Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has assured the public that chickens being sold in the city’s markets are free from avian flu virus.

Results of the week-long extensive inspection and monitoring done by the Office of the City Veterinarian incidicated absence of any sign of the dreaded virus in all of the local public markets and poultry dressing plants (PDPs).

“I’ve been very particular to our city inspectors to do all they can to ensure that bird flu won’t reach the City of Manila. So far, poultry products that are being sold in our markets are safe for consumption,” Estrada said.

The Manila mayor said he has received the report submitted by city veterinarian and head of Veterinary Inspection Board (VIB) Dr. Virgil Benedict De Jesus who led the inspection of wet markets, PDPs, and small-scale poultry suppliers in the city.

Among those inspected were Blumentritt Market, the biggest source of live and dressed chicken in Manila; Paco Market, Arranque Market in Sta. Cruz, Bambang Market in Tondo, and Quinta Market in Quiapo, and private supermarkets and meat shops.

All stalls and shops selling dressed and live chickens have shipping permits and veterinary health inspection certificates that showed the chickens did not come from San Luis, Pampanga where the outbreak was first reported.

Chickens being sold in Manila come from suppliers and poultry farms in Bacoor, Cavite; Candelaria, Quezon; Sta. Maria, Bulacan; Tanay, Rizal; Abucay, Bataan; Batangas City, Laguna, Antipolo, Tarlac City, and Tarlac-Kalayaan Farm.