DA bans poultry imports from California

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 06 2015 07:33 AM | Updated as of Mar 06 2015 03:33 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture has imposed a temporary ban on the importation of domesticated and wild birds and their products from California, United States because of a confirmed outbreak of bird flu.

Covered by the ban are poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the imposition of a temporary ban is meant to protect the health of the local poultry population from infection.

“We have been closely monitoring advisories from the OIE since we want to proactively protect the integrity of our poultry products as avian flu-free,” he said.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza ( HPAI) virus serotype H5N8 in a commercial turkey farm in Stanislaus County.

The disease outbreak has been duly reported to the Office Internationale Des Epizooties (OIE), an international organization that disseminates information on occurrences of animal diseases to governments.

H5 and N7 high pathogenicity avian influenza virus are among the notifiable OIE-listed terrestrial animal diseases.

As such, the processing, evaluation of application and issuance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Import Clearance for the above-mentioned commodities from said location have been suspended.

With the exemption of heat-treated products, all shipments of poultry and poultry products from California would be stopped and confiscated in Philippine ports.

The OIE is an inter-governmental organization that informs governments of the occurrence of animal diseases and of ways to control these diseases.

It also coordinates the conduct of studies devoted to the surveillance and control of animal diseases and of harmonizing regulations to facilitate trade in animals and animal products.

The domestic poultry sector is among the strongest farm subsectors in the country, having remained free from avian influenza that has affected neighboring Asian countries.

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