MANILA, Philippines — An attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has re-imposed a temporary ban on the importation of poultry and related products from Taiwan following an outbreak of avian influenza, commonly referred to as bird flu. The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) is implementing the reimposition of the ban.
In an order, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala directed veterinary inspectors to suspend the processing and evaluation of the application and issuance of clearances on the importation of poultry products from the territory. This covers domestic and wild birds — including poultry meat, day-old chicks, eggs, and semen — originating from Taiwan.
In a copy of Memorandum Order 36, Alcala also mandated the DA’s veterinary quarantine officers or inspectors in all major ports to halt and confiscate all shipments of poultry and poultry products (with the exception of heat treated products) from Taiwan.
This, Alcala said, would protect the Philippines’ local poultry population, as well as human health.
Just last month, BAI had lifted the ban following confirmation by global animal health authorities that Taiwan was already free from bird flu virus.
In a report submitted to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), Dr. Kwo-Ching Huang, chief veterinary official and deputy director general of Taiwan’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Inspection Quarantine Council of Agriculture said that the H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza event in the country was resolved in August 14, 2012. Huang said the disinfection of affected premises was completed in May 2012, adding that no further cases had been reported in Chinese Taipei. The official also said that appropriate surveillance has been completed to demonstrate that the outbreak of HPAI in chickens has been contained and eradicated.
In Memorandum Order No.32-2012, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the immediate lifting of the ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products – including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs and semen – originating from Taiwan.
Alcala said that all import transactions of such products should be in accordance with the existing rules and regulations of the BAI and the National Meat Inspection Service.