Philippines bans imports of live birds and poultry from Japan

PHILIPPINES - The Philippines has banned temporarily imports of live birds and poultry from Japan due to alarm over bird flu epidemic, said Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap on Sunday.
calendar icon 5 February 2007
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Yap said the ban was necessary to protect human health and the poultry industry in the Philippines, which has remained free of bird flu ever since the H5N1 virus strain reemerged in Asia in 2003.

The ban was based on a Jan. 13 report submitted by the Japanese government to the an international watchdog, Office International des Epizooties (OIE), attesting to the presence of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu AI virus in Japan.

"There is a possibility that travelers may bring in pet birds, poultry and poultry products from Japan," Yap said. "Thus, I have ordered Department of Agriculture quarantine officers and inspectors at all major airports and seaports to stop and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products into the country originating from Japan."

Yap said the ban covers all domestic and wild birds and their products, including day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Japan.

He also ordered the immediate suspension of the issuance of veterinary quarantine clearances to all imports covering these products from Japan.

Source: People's Daily Online

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