Philippines bans poultry imports from Belgium, France

The aim of the ban is to prevent the spread of avian influenza
calendar icon 10 January 2024
clock icon 1 minute read

The Philippines' department of agriculture has imposed an indefinite ban on imports of poultry and related products, including wild birds, from Belgium and France following an avian influenza outbreak there, reported Reuters.

"We're doing this to protect the health of our local poultry population as well as poultry workers and consumers since H5N1 is a virus that can be transmitted to humans by infected animals," Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel said in a statement.

Avian influenza, which is carried by migrating wild birds and can then be transmitted between farms, has ravaged flocks around the globe in recent years, disrupting supply, pushing up food prices and raising concern of a risk of transmission to humans.

France and Belgium, which share a border, reported an outbreak in their bird populations to the World Organization for Animal Health in November and December, respectively.

The Philippines' import ban will also prevent traders from bringing in Belgian and French poultry products including poultry meat, day-old chicks, hatching eggs, and poultry semen into the Philippines, the Department of Agriculture said.

In 2023, the Philippines imported 426,620 metric tons of poultry meat, 3.78% higher than the previous year, with Belgium accounting for 0.59% and France 0.01%.

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