Chicken, poultry from 3 countries banned
The Department of Agriculture prohibited the entry of chicken and other poultry products from Japan, Hungary, and California due to outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, also known as bird flu.
In three different memorandum orders released earlier this week, DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban said domestic and wild birds, as well as their products, such as chicken meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen, are temporarily prohibited.
In Memorandum Order 69, Panganiban said the temporary ban from Japan is based on the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture’s report to the World Organization for Animal Health on 1 November 2022.
In particular, the WOAH report mentioned that domestic bird outbreaks of the high pathogenicity avian influenza virus had been confirmed in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, and Atsuma Tow, Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan.
“There is a need to prevent the entry of HPAI virus to protect the health of the local poultry population,” Domingo wrote in MO 69.
He added: “Immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of the application, and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary import clearance to the above-stated commodities.”
He said the MO 70 is based on a separate report submitted by the Deputy State Secretary, Chief Veterinary Officer, Food Chain Safety Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Budapest, Hungary, to WOAH on 4 November.
There were outbreaks of HPAI virus in Kiskunmajsa and Bugac, Bacs-Kiskun in Hungary, affecting domestic birds, he added.
He reiterated in MO 70 the need to prevent the entry of the HPAI virus to protect the health of the poultry population in the Philippines.
“All shipments coming from Hungary that are in transit/Loaded/Accepted unto port before the official communication of this Order to the Hungarian authorities shall be allowed provided that the products were slaughtered/produced on or before 19 October 2022,” Domingo said in MO 70.
Importation ban in California
Panganiban said there were additional outbreaks of H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in California, United States of America affecting domestic birds as the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, Iowa (National Laboratory) confirmed.
“(The) rapid spread of H5N1 High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza in the United States of America in a short period since its first laboratory detection necessitates a broader coverage of trade restriction to prevent the entry of HPAI virus and protect the health of the local poultry population,” MO 71 read.
Given the geographical land mass of the USA, Panganiban explained that there has been a mutual agreement in 2016 between the veterinary authorities of the USA and the Philippines that a state-wide ban shall only be imposed if there are three or more counties affected with HPAI in one state.
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