Agri chief urges systems revamp amid bird flu fears


Posted at Aug 14 2017 04:16 PM

MANILA - Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Monday called for a revamp in the system observed in the country's Bureau of Customs, noting that poultry which cannot be imported from abroad is available here.

The Department of Agriculture is also considering the possibility that the avian flu outbreak reported in the farming town of San Luis, Pampanga could be traced back to smuggled duck or chicken from China.

Piñol said he once saw "yellow Chinese chicken" in the menu of a restaurant, when it should have been banned.

"[This] actually should not be brought inside the country kasi yung Chinese chicken saka peking duck, hindi pwedeng ipasok sa Pilipinas pero nakakapuslit," he said in a press conference.

"May mga problema tayo sa mga ports natin. Pinapa-observe sa atin yung ‘No contact policy’ na hindi pwedeng buksan yung mga containers. Yun ang nagiging problema natin. I think something should be done about this," he added.

An avian influenza outbreak has been declared in San Luis, and the department has banned the shipment of fowls from Luzon to other parts of the country to contain the virus.

Every fowl within the 1-kilometer radius from ground zero in the town is up for culling, said Piñol.