65 Ilocos Region towns affected by Avian Pest

>> Saturday, March 19, 2016

Farmers hit gov’t for breakout 

VIGAN CITY -- Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP Exploitation) said  the extent and massive death mostly of native chickens and turkey from the New Castle Disease Virus, locally known apangok was the result of the government’s lack of support for backyard raisers and farmers for veterinary supplies and technology.
The group said that backyard chicken raisers, mostly farmers themselves were the most affected by the pest.
 Reports said 65 municipalities across the four province of Ilocos were affected with the avian pest resulting to at least 109,255 deaths as of February 29. Fourteen municipalities were affected each in Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, 17 in La Union and 20 in Pangasinan.
 About 11,700 fowls, mostly native chicken and game cocks are remains at risk said Dr. Annie Bares, head of the DA field operations division in the region. She also said that big industries were not affected by the outbreak because they have their own vaccines.
Data from the National Meat Inspection Service showed that poultry supply in Ilocos decreased by 71% in February.
 “The DA and the local government’s response is late and slow” said Zaldy Alfiler, the group’s Secretary General. He said that big industries were able to coped with the outbreak because the government is more inclined to provide assistance for big agribusinesses than small producers and backyard raisers.
 Alfiler cited the tax and non-tax incentives, including a six-year tax holiday awarded by the Aquino government to Thai-owned company Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippine Corp (CPF) in 2013. The move was protested by local broiler producers for boosting the “already huge capitalization and overwhelming competitive capacity” of CPF to the detriment and bankruptcy of local poultry raisers.
 “DA and local governments should focus their resources and provide incentives for backyard and small poultry growers to develop their capacity to adopt and prevent outbreak of disease,” added Alfiler.


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