Around 41,000 chickens in Central Luzon die of Newcastle disease

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Thousands of birds, mostly fighting cocks and range chicken, have died in Central Luzon due to the Newcastle disease.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Around 41,000 birds, mostly fighting cocks and range chicken, have died in Central Luzon due to the Newcastle disease virus (NDV), according to the regional Department of Agriculture (DA-3).

Also known as the Avian pest, the virus afflicted poultry mostly in Pampanga, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

DA officials said the virus possibly spread after typhoons Lando and Nona hit Luzon, causing the birds to get stressed which eventually weakened their body system.

Officials were also looking at migratory birds as carriers of NDV.

Dr. Eduardo Lapuz Jr., chief of DA-3 regulatory division, said the department had already implemented measures to prevent the further widespread of the disease, including the distribution of vaccine and disinfectant particularly to backyard raisers.

Lapuz also called on poultry owners to have their chickens tested in provincial and municipal veterinary laboratories if they are showing symptoms of the disease.

As Central Luzon supplies poultry products in Metro Manila, Lapuz assured the public that there is nothing to worry about poultry coming from the region.

He explained, chicken that died from NDV cannot enter the dressing plant, as those that died from the disease have swollen face and hemorrhages.

Pampanga-based correspondent Justine Dizon contributed to this report.