Makati launches task force vs bird flu

MANILA --The Makati City government formed a task force to prevent the entry of poultry products from affected by the Avian influenza such as Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

The body named 'Task Force Bantay AI' is composed of meat inspectors from the city's Veterinary Services Office (VSO) who have been mobilized to monitor and check Meat Inspection Certificates in all meat-selling establishments in the city.

The inspection also covers all businesses involved in transporting, storing, receiving, processing, preparation and selling poultry products in Makati.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay made the move in response to the alert order of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS),

She instructed the VSO to vigilantly inspect and monitor establishments that sell meat and poultry, including street and ambulant vendors, to prevent consumption of tainted products.

The Heightened Alert on Meat Inspection is a precautionary measure to protect our constituents. We want to make sure that the poultry products in our groceries, public markets and even the small talipapas remain safe for consumption, the lady mayor said.

Binay urged meat and poultry shops to display their Meat Inspection Certificates to show that their product are certified clean and virus-free.

To raise public awareness, Binay also instructed the Task Force to conduct lectures in all public markets to educate chicken vendors on how bird flu-infected poultry products virus look like. She added that the information drive, which started Tuesday, will teach Makatizens how to properly inspect the meat they buy.

Makati VSO officer-in-charge Dr. Katherina Mangahas said the task force began market inspections on Aug. 18 at Comembo and Tejeros markets. Stalls selling dressed chicken were inspected and their Meat Inspection Certificates were checked to ensure that the chickens being sold did not come from the quarantined areas.

Mangahas reported that poultry products being sold in these markets were sourced from southern Luzon provinces.

In line with the heightened alert against avian influenza, Makati is also discouraging the sale and movement of live domestic and wild birds and their products including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs, semen and manure from Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac, Zambales, and Bataan.

After Pampanga, the towns of Jaen and San Isidro in Nueva Ecija have also been placed under a state of calamity after poultry farms have tested positive for the virus.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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