Philippines Restricts Poultry Imports from US, Israel

PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture has banned imports of poultry products from Israel and the US state of Oregon on avian flu fears.
calendar icon 16 February 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

The Department of Agriculture (DA) imposed a temporary ban on domesticated and wild birds, including its products, from Israel and Oregon in USA to protect the health of local livestock population from avian flu, according to separate statements.

GMA Network reports that Agriculture Secretary, Proceso Alcala, ordered the import ban on domesticated and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Haifa in Israel "to protect the health of the local livestock population and food safety in the country from the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)".

Mr Alcala ordered the immediate suspension of the processing, evaluation of application and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Import Clearance against poultry products from Haifa.

Another emergency measure is the "stoppage and confiscation of all shipments of the commodities" from Haifa, except heat-treated products with slaughter production date before 31 October 2014.

The Philippine poultry sub-sector grossed 189.7 billion pesos (PHP) in 2014, up 7.8 per cent from 2013.

"We cannot afford then to lose this growth foothold to avian diseases; that is why we are keen on monitoring entry of products that could threaten the health of our poultry industry," the Cabinet official said.

In a separate statement, the DA said a temporary ban is also imposed on domestic and wild bird and their products such as poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from the avian-flu affected state of Oregon in the US and will not be allowed into the Philippines.

Mr Alcala ordered that all shipments, except heat-treated products, be stopped and confiscated by DA veterinary quarantine officers and inspectors at all major ports.

So far, the Philippine remains free from the highly contagious avian influenza microbe, the Agriculture Department said.

"The Philippine has managed to maintain its bird-flu free status since the virus which afflicted Asian countries in 2003 affected the poultry of neighbouring nations like Viet Nam," the department told GMA Network.

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