Philippines Lifts Ban on Poultry Products from Canada, Japan

PHILIPPINES - The Philippines' Department of Agriculture has lifted a temporary ban on the importation of poultry and other poultry products from Canada and Japan, after confirmation by global animal health authorities that the countries are free from bird flu virus.
calendar icon 8 July 2015
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Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the immediate lifting of the ban, reported the Daily Tribune.

The ban affected the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products coming from British Colombia in Canada and Japan, and the ban was lifted in line with the completion of appropriate surveillance, containment and eradication of the disease.

The agriculture chief said this is based on their evaluation that the risk of contamination from importing poultry and such products from both territories is negligible.

In an earlier report submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Toshiro Kawshima, chief veterinary officer of Japan’s Animal Health Division at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) event in the country appeared to have been resolved.

“In compliance with the terrestrial animal health code of OIE, Japan is now free from HPAI,” Huang said.

The Philippines' Department of Agriculture chief said the ban against British Columbia, Canada was lifted after cleaning and disinfection following stamping out of all the infected and exposed birds in affected establishments.

However, Mr Alcala said that all import transactions of products should be in accordance with the existing rules and regulations of the Bureau of Animal Industry and the National Meat Inspection Service.

The Department of Agriculture is regularly monitoring advisories from OIE to protect local bird population from threats of avian influenza, as well as to ensure the safety of consumers.

The Philippines remains the only country in Southeast Asia free from highly pathogenic avian influenza or bird flu.

Avian influenza is a highly contagious viral disease affecting several species of food producing birds (chickens, turkeys, quails, guinea fowl, and so on) as well as pet birds and wild birds. In its notifiable form, the disease can be divided into two categories - the high and low pathogenecity.

HPAI virus spreads rapidly, may cause serious disease and result in high mortality rates (up to 100 per cent within 48 hours). The low pathogenic avian influenza can causes mild disease that may be undetected or no symptoms at all in some species of birds.

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