Seized exotic birds undergo quarantine

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DAVAO CITY — The exotic birds confiscated during a raid in Davao Oriental will be quarantined to prevent the potential spread of bird disease.

Karen Lou Deloso, provincial information officer of Davao Oriental, said Saturday the move was agreed between Governor Nelson Dayanghirang and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) after consultations with veterinarians to take precautionary measures following the confiscation of 447 exotic birds and animals in Mati City on Monday.

Deloso said the quarantine procedure is part of standard precautions being taken and should not be a cause of alarm.

According to Deloso, arrangements have been made for the transfer of the animals to a more conducive environment in registered wildlife rescue facilities in Davao City and assured stakeholders of proper handling.

It may be recalled that authorities on Monday confiscated 447 exotic birds and animals in Barangay Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental. Among the seized species are black palm cockatoos, wallabies, and echidna that were believed to be smuggled from Indonesia.

Monday’s operation also led to the arrest of the two caretakers, identified as Jomar Lumakore Toledo, 34, and Rompas Manindig Lumakore, 25, both residents of Barangay Calumpang, General Santos City.

The species were identified according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) category.

CITES is an international agreement between governments which seeks to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

A provincial team headed by Provincial Veterinarian, Dr. Eric Dagmang, collected blood samples from the birds and animals for laboratory test in Davao City as part of the 30-day quarantine procedure.

The team is aided by experts from the Crocodile Park.

Dayanghirang has also warned against those behind the illegal trade of smuggling animals from other countries.

The governor also called on authorities to raise awareness against the illegal trade of wildlife.

Dayanghirang said as responsible stewards of biodiversity, people must come together to help conserve wildlife, especially the endangered species that are speedily driven to extinction. -PNA

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