Philippines bans poultry products from Germany
The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) has issued yet another temporary ban on the import of birds and their products, this time from Germany, as it continues to shore up measures to protect the Philippines’ bird flufree status.
The ban covers domesticated and wild birds and their products, including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs and semen from Ems- land, Lower Saxony, in Germany.
Philippine Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has received a report from Germany’s chief veterinary officer about an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N8) virus, which affected laying hens in Germany.
The DA’s latest order called for the immediate suspension of processing, evaluation of application, and issuance of sanitary and phy- tosanitary import clearances for the products listed above from that town.
As for shipments from the place that were already inbound, these should all be stopped and confiscated, with the exception of heattreated products, the DA said.
“We have been taking all the necessary measures to protect our borders against avian diseases, which could impend over our country’s growing poultry industry,” Alcala said in a statement.
The DA earlier issued similar orders for shipments from Stanislaus County, California and Douglas Country, Oregon in the United States and from Haifa, Israel.
According to Alcala, the domestic poultry industry grossed 189.7 billion pesos ( US$4.06 billion) in 2014, an increase of 7.8 percent compared with 2013 figures.
“We cannot afford to lose this growth foothold to avian diseases, so we should monitor the entry of products that could threaten the health of our poultry industry,” he said.
Alcala said the Philippines has managed to maintain its bird flufree status since the virus, which ravaged Asian countries in 2003, affected the poultry of neighboring nations like Vietnam.
He said the Philippines’ diseasefree status enabled the country to gain approval to export fresh frozen chicken meat to South Korea, halal chicken to the United Arab Emirates and deboned poultry meat to Japan.