Quarantine checkpoints proposed to prevent bird flu entry in NortCot

The bird flu virus that hit Pampanga is feared to affect the availability of poultry products in the next few months. Pampanga supplies some 40 percent of the country’s poultry needs. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/21 August) – A member of the provincial board in North Cotabato has pushed for the setting up of animal quarantine checkpoints in at least seven entry points of the province to prevent the spread of avian influenza virus or bird flu.

Cotabato 3rd district board member Socrates Pinol said the quarantine stations will ensure the growing poultry industry in the province won’t be affected by the virus, which first hit Pampanga months ago.

Checkpoints would be set up along Tulunan, Cotabato to Datu Paglas, Maguindanao road; Makilala, Cotabato and Barangay Kinuskusan, Bansalan in Davao del Sur; boundary of Carmen, Cotabato and Maramag, Bukidnon; Banisilan, Cotabato and Wao, Lanao del Sur; Pigcawayan, Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao road; and Riverside Midsayap, Cotabato and Datu Piang, Maguindanao road.

“Although geographically, Cotabato is too far from Pampanga but nobody could tell if the poultry products that have entered in our area are free from the virus,” said Pinol.

North Cotabato belongs to Region 12. The region also covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Data from the Department of Agriculture 12 said the region supplies at least three percent of the country’s poultry requirements.

But Pinol said the industry is being threatened by the bird flu outbreak. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)