Tourists urged to avoid poultry farms before going to center

THE Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) advises tourists who plan to visit the center this Kadayawan season to avoid visiting any poultry farms right before coming in as part of their preemptive measures against Avian Flu virus.

After closing for two days to conduct internal cleaning and other precautionary measures against Avian Flu virus from August 15 to 16, PEF is now ready to accept tourists who want to see the eagles housed in the center.

“We added disinfectant mats where the tourists can step on upon entrance for bird flu prevention. We also went around the houses within our immediate vicinity to educate the residents about what they should do to prevent bird flu because if they can prevent it from happening in their backyard, it can help prevent from happening here in the center as well,” said PEF Conservation Education Administrator Rai Gomez through a phone interview with SunStar Davao.

She said the local government units of the three nearby barangays namely Gumalang, Malagos, and Baguio are very cooperative in implementing and participating in the precautionary measures of the center.

Gomez added visitors had already been coming in the center even during the outbreak of Avian Flu virus in Pampanga and even before they had announced temporary closure. Every Kadayawan season, their average foot traffic is a total of 300 people daily.

“Right now, we are already welcoming tourists coming in the center. We only request for them to avoid visiting facilities that house birds and other poultry animals before visiting the center. If they plan to do that, we hope they can visit PEF first before,” Gomez said.

“So far the visitors who came do not have hesitations upon coming here regarding the bird flu virus. And information about the bird flu is also part of the orientation. We have also set up posters and distributed flyers about the virus,” added Gomez.

She also said they could not say yet whether or not their foot traffic would directly be affected by the Avian Flu outbreak in Pampanga since they have just started receiving guests again.

PEF Davao is the only breeding facility of the Philippine Eagle in the entire world that’s why the staff are requesting the tourists coming to strictly follow the biosafety measures implemented in the vicinity.